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Youth Music Roars for Endangered Species

Top players support £1 million initiative. David Childs, Roger Argente, Herbie Flowers all set to save endangered instruments.


Youth Music is launching a £1 million initiative that will put specific musical instruments into the hands of over 5,000 children and young people.

Titled Endangered and Protected Species, the programme tackles the problem of the falling numbers of young people taking up, and continuing to play, six instruments — namely, the Bassoon, Double Bass, French Horn, Oboe, Trombone, Tuba and Euphonium. These instruments have become endangered for reasons of their cost, accessibility and, in some cases, their street-credibility amongst young people. Youth Music is set to change this with a series of educational events, image makeovers and the provision of over 1,500 new instruments.

Gavin Henderson, Chairman, Youth Music, said:

“The whole future of traditional music-making is at stake as orchestras are facing difficulties due to the lack of young, high quality, players of these instruments. Through this new programme Youth Music hopes to inspire children and young people to learn Endangered Species instruments and to also encourage a new generation of musicians".

The Endangered and Protected Species programme has been developed in collaboration with the Federation of Music Services in a direct response to their needs. Music Services across England can apply for up to 70% off the purchase price of instruments.

The Music Group organisation, which is a partner in Endangered & Protected Species will support activities over the two-year programme. It is also providing a voucher scheme to Music Services offering a further 10% discount off all Endangered Species instruments.

Rt Hon Estelle Morris, MP, Minister of the Arts said:

“Youth Music is really making an impact in bringing high quality music-making experiences to young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in music, and I am delighted that since their launch in 1999 Youth Music has already reached 1 million young people and their wider communities.

“Programmes such as Endangered and Protected Species are so important in making sure that all young people, regardless of their background or financial circumstances, have access to a broad range of musical experiences and the opportunity to learn an instrument that is right for them.”

Aware that simply investing in new instruments will not address the problem fully, Youth Music is providing training for music-leaders and encouraging musicians to consider a career in teaching. Importantly, it is asking Music Services to develop access and retention strategies to make sure that children and young people learning the instruments are well supported through their studies.

Following Youth Music research, the Protected Species part of the programme has been introduced to help improve the image of the instruments to today’s young people and to keep instruments in a good condition. Youth Music, specially designed, ‘cool’ gig-bags will be available free to Music Services, for all types of instruments, not just Endangered Species’ ones.

High profile musicians are supporting the initiative as Youth Music Ambassadors and will attend events, run workshops and give performances.

Included are Herbie Flowers, pop, rock and jazz double bass and tuba player; David Childs, given the title of International Euphonium Player of the Year at the age of eighteen and the first and only euphonium soloist to win the Brass Final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, and Helen Simons, one of a few female bassoonists and a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins is also involved, who honed his talent performing with the legendary jazz big band, The Jazz Warriors, as is trombonist Roger Argente, who teaches at the Trinity College of Music. Daniel Smith, the world’s most recorded bassoon soloist, Martin Mayes, who plays jazz french horn with the Italian Instabile Orchestra, and oboist, Nicholas Daniel, a winner of the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year, complete the set.

Bassoonist, Helen Simons said:

“The exquisite sound of the bassoon is well-worth preserving. I am very happy to support Youth Music and Music Services in fostering creative talent across the country, helping to develop the skills and confidence of young people in playing such special instruments.”

Classic FM Radio is actively supporting Endangered Species with an engaging series of concerts and documentaries that will be aired over April and May 2004.

Adding further zest and sparkle, Youth Music is developing educational games and competitions on its website to support and encourage children and young people to stay motivated when learning an Endangered Species instrument. One of these games is ‘Tubagotchi’, where instruments flourish if used in various activities such as practice sessions but become extinct if neglected.

Further information from:
Rita Vail/Zena Ambrose/Annette Maylam of Vail & Associates
tel: 020 7 738 0722
email: , ,

Youth Music

Youth Music funds and facilitates music-making for young people up to the age of 18, particularly those living in areas of social and economic need. It is a campaigning charity set up in 1999 with National Lottery money provided through Arts Council England. By the end of 2005, Youth Music aims to have reached more than 3 million young people and their wider communities in a nationwide strategy to support youth music-making. For more information please visit Youth Music’s website www.youthmusic.org.uk

Learning Skills and Development

As part of Youth Music’s ongoing commitment to training, Learning Skills and Development courses for teachers are being developed that will ensure that there is a relevant, modern and exciting approach to teaching these instruments.

Youth Music is also working with higher educational musical institutions to create programmes that will encourage and develop the teaching skills of musicians who had not previously considered a career in education. This will further increase the number of capable professionals who can continue to promote the virtues of the Endangered Species instruments to future generations of children and young people.

Federation of Music Services

The Federation of Music Services is a nationally recognised organisation representing 137 music services, 10,000 instrumental teachers and over 500,000 pupils.

Costs of Instruments

The average costs of instruments are:

Beginners Bassoon����������£4,000
Professional Bassoon����� �����£10,000
Tuba/Euphonium���������� £3,000
French Horn���������������£3,000
Double Bass���������������£3,000

Youth Music is offering a 70% discount to Music Services on these costs and The Music Group is donating a further discount of 10% off all instruments.

The Music Group

Youth Music has set up a major partnership with The Music Group, who are generously supporting Endangered & Protected Species over the next two years.

The Music Group's commitment to and understanding of the needs of Music Services will ensure that players of all ages and ability are provided with instruments of the highest quality available, coupled with excellent value for money.

The Music Group brings together the instrument companies that were formerly part of the Boosey & Hawkes Group. It is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of band and orchestral instruments and many of the world's leading artists endorse its products.

The Group comprises eight of the world’s best-known manufacturers, including: Besson (brass instruments), Buffet Crampon (woodwinds), Karl Höfner (stringed instruments and guitars), Julius Keilwerth (saxophones), Roderich Paesold (stringed instruments and bows), Rico International (reeds and accessories), W. Schreiber & Söhne (woodwinds) and Jakob Winter (cases).

As part of the partnership The Music Group is offering a voucher scheme to Music Services throughout England, offering a 10% discount on oboes, bassoons, french horns, trombones, tubas/euphoniums and double basses. This discount will be available through dealerships to all Music Services who are eligible for support through the Endangered and Protected Species programme.

Classic FM

Classic FM will showcase leading soloists on Endangered Species instruments, with concerts and short documentaries giving children, young people and their families, information about how to get involved in learning an instrument and to help motivate them to succeed well into the future.

Youth Music Ambassadors

The musicians supporting Endangered and Protected Species with a series of visits, workshops and performances are:

Roger Argente���������������Trombone
David Childs���������������Euphonium
Nick Daniel���������������Oboe
Herbie Flowers���������������Tuba
Martin Mayes���������������French Horn
Dennis Rollins���������������Trombone
Helen Simons���������������Bassoon
Daniel Smith���������������Bassoon

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Dave Collins

BA (Hons) (Dunelm) I, FSCO
Composer and Arranger