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Latest News

Please see our Press page for official press releases and media contacts.

4 November 2019
Loop Pedal Workshop now open for booking! A Loop Pedal is a great tool for guitarists and vocalists to record a snippet and play it back on a loop, enabling musicians to compose and layer musical ideas around it. Our workshop will explore this fantastic tool as an aid to making backing tracks and improvising. Find out more and register for a place on our website here.
Loop Pedal Workshop
30 October 2019
Hungerford Christmas Course 2019 is now open for booking. After it’s great success last year, we are delighted to be running another 1-day Christmas Course in Hungerford. Open to players of woodwind, brass and percussion up to (and including) grade 3 standard, the course will teach some fun festive music ahead of an informal performance to family and friends at the end of the day. To find out more and to register, please see our website here.
Hungerford Christmas
23 October 2019
Academy Double Reed Masterclasses now open for booking. Academy@Maestros is so pleased to open booking for our Double Reed Masterclasses where we will be welcoming two professional musicians and professors from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Fraser MacAulay will lead our Oboe Masterclass and Helen Simons will lead the Bassoon Masterclass. Read more about the Masterclasses and register for your place here.
Double Reed
17 October 2019
Academy Brass Masterclasses now open for booking.The Academy@Maestros is delighted to now open our Brass Masterclasses taking place on Saturday 23 November. We will be welcoming brass specialists from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the form of Roger Argente (for lower brass) and Philippe Schartz (for upper brass). Find out more details and register for the Masterclasses, please see our website here.
Brass masterclass
16 October 2019
Arts Council England pledge £9,137 for our crowdfunding project. Having received a £900 pledge for our crowdfunding project Mini Maestros in the Community from Newbury Music Centre Parents and Friends Association, we have achieved the magic milestone of 15% funding. This triggers Arts Council England to submit their pledge of 50% of the required project funding, taking us to a huge 69% of funding for the project! Thank you to ACE. We have until 1 December to ahieve the remaining 31% of funding to ensure the project takes place, so please keep pledging here. Thank you
ACE thank you
3 October 2019
Max Maestro has had a makeover! Our favourite music mascot Max Maestro for Berkshire Mini Maestros has a brand new look. He has grown his fur and has had an outfit change - we love his new style! Hop on over to the Mini Maestros page here to see more of the new look Max. Our thanks go to our colleague Jess Wilkins for her artwork to complete his re-styling.
2 October 2019
Tickets for BYSO and BYPE Autumn Concert 2019 are now on sale. Tickets are now available for the next BYSO concert - "BYSO’s Guide to the Orchestra". Conducted by Pete Harrison, it will offer a programme containing film music by John Williams and Hans Zimmer, Rimsky-Korsakov and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Concert goers will also be treated to a performance from BYPE. Taking place at The Concert Hall in Reading, tickets are priced £12 (£8 for concessions) and can be booked online here.
BYSO Guide to Orchestra
16 September 2019
Welcome to our new CEO Dawn Wren. Today we are delighted to welcome our new CEO Dawn Wren to the Maestros family. Dawn comes to us with years of leadership experience at Kingston Music Service and is keen to build on our existing successes and high quality standards of musical education here in Berkshire. Read more here about what Dawn had to say about beginning work with us when she spoke to us about her appointment.
Dawn Wren
11 September 2019
The CBeebies Proms will be on TV on 14 September featuring our choir members! Don't miss the broadcast of this year's CBeebies Proms concerts 'Off to the Moon' on CBeebies on Saturday 14 September at 9:30am. Members of Berkshire County Youth Choirs sang as part of the CBeebies Proms Children's Choir. We were hugely honoured that our choirs were invited to take part in what was a really fun concert experience and the students worked very hard to learn the music. We can't wait to see it on TV! Read The Telegraph's review of the concert here.
CBeebies Proms
10 September 2019
Key Dates for your Diary for 2019-20. We are pleased to be able to share with you key dates to go into your diary for the academic year 2019-20. Please click here for a full list of all our courses, junior music festivals, county group concerts and Soundstage gigs that we will be running this year. Nearer the date of each event, full details will be available either on our website or on our online ticket office here. Please keep an eye on our website, e-mail communications and social media for announcements.
Berkshire Maestros logo
5 September 2019
Berkshire Young Musician of the Year 2020 competition is now open for entries! This is the first time that a Berkshire Young Musician competition has been open to percussionists and marks an exciting development for the annual competition. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 and under (on 31 August 2020) from Berkshire for them to showcase their talent and win prizes alongside others of a similar age. Please see the competition webpage here for full details.
Berkshire Young Musician

Arts Council England announces further Music Hub funding for 2020-21

As lead organisation of the Berkshire Music Hub, Berkshire Maestros is delighted that Arts Council England has secured a further year of Music Hub funding for 2020-21.

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that England’s music education hubs will receive funding for the 2020-21 financial year, putting an end to speculation that the government may not renew the annual funding that hubs have received since their formation in September 2012. In addition, the DfE has allocated an additional £265,000 to supplement the current financial year’s funding.

The announcement means that for the current year, the previously agreed hub funding settlement of £75,840,000 will rise to £76,105,000 once the £265,000 has been added. For 2020-21, a funding settlement of £76,960,000 will be allocated – but this will be supplemented by approximately £2m (a figure that will be clarified at a later date) to cover increased employers’ pension contributions. This puts hub funding for 2020-21 at somewhere approaching £79m. As usual, the amount received by each hub will be calculated by Arts Council England based on pupil numbers.

Music Hub funding is of vital importance to the service that we at Berkshire Maestros provide through schools, music centres and events where we work in partnership with other organisations (such as the Junior Music Festivals).

Berkshire Maestros CEO Dawn Wren said: "I am delighted with today’s funding announcement meaning that we can continue to ensure children and young people in Berkshire can access outstanding music provision!"

Steve Christmas, Director of Hub Development at Berkshire Maestros, said "The confirmation of the continuation of this funding into the next academic year is of excellent news for the young musicians of Berkshire."


Berkshire Music Hub

Berkshire Mini Maestros heading for local communities

31 October 2019

Berkshire Maestros launches Mini Maestros in the Community, an ambitious crowdfunding appeal to deliver high-quality music experiences for 300 babies and toddlers in 10 new locations across Berkshire.

The music education charity is seeking over £17,000 from individuals and local businesses to deliver baby and toddler sessions free of charge across January to March 2020. The appeal has already received over £12,000 in donations, including pledges from over 70 individuals, £9,000 from Arts Council England as part of the 'Our Music Crowd' movement and major contributions from a local IT firm, Newbury and Windsor Music Centre Parents and Friends Associations and Barnes Coaches.

Bringing high quality music-making direct to local communities across Berkshire, Mini Maestros in the Community will enable families to nurture a love of music for life. Children and their grown-ups sing fun action songs, learn through a wide range of resources, play inspiring percussion instruments and move with colourful scarfs.

Dawn Wren, CEO Berkshire Maestros:
This is one of the biggest and most ambitious projects that Berkshire Maestros has undertaken in recent years but one which is significant to parents and their children within the community. Music-making should start from birth and we hope that this opportunity will supply many parents with an outlet to immerse their children in a weekly music session and provide the foundations for a life-long love of music. The finishing line for our campaign is now in sight and we need the county’s support to help us achieve our goal!

Mrs M, parent in Crowthorne:
I’ve always enjoyed music growing up, and it’s important to me that my children have the opportunity to have fun with music. I am delighted that Berkshire Maestros is offering this fantastic initiative and that there is an opportunity in the community for my son to enjoy the joys of music from such a young age in a unique setting. We are excited to begin these classes in the new year.

If you would like to make a pledge to the appeal, you can do so online here



Berkshire Young Singer

News Archive

Berkshire Young Musician of the Year and Young Singer of the Year 2020 Competition Announced – 31 July 2019

New CEO for Maestros – 18 July 2019

Berkshire Young Musician of the Year 2019 Winners Announced – 20 March 2019

Funding leads the way to musical success for young people across Berkshire – 25 February 2019

Semi-Finals of the Berkshire Young Musician of the Year 2019 Strings Competition – 21 January 2019

More than 1800 Berkshire children to perform at Royal Albert Hall spectacular – 30 October 2018

Local Youth Choir in the Spotlight at Royal Albert Hall for the premiere of The Great War Symphony – 11 October 2018

Berkshire Maestros student achieves national success – 26 September 2018

Berkshire Maestros to Relocate its Caversham Music Centre to Queen Anne's School18 June 2018

Berkshire Maestros to Relocate its Bracknell Music Centre to Ranelagh School – 16 April 2018

Berkshire County Youth Choirs Perform at 'The Proms' – 23 July 2017

Arts Council praise for the Berkshire Music Education Hub – 19 December 2016

Berkshire county young music ensembles outstanding tour to China – 4 August 2016

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