Media boost for Proms in the Playground

Brass Bands England's school initiative gains a great boost of media coverage.

BBE Proms
  The initiative has gained a great media response

Brass Bands England's 'Proms in the Playground' initiative has already proven to be a great success.

Running from the 5th — 23rd July it has given many schools the opportunity to round off the school year on a positive note with many media outlets already picking up on some great news stories to shine a positive light on brass bands and youth music activity.

Inspire children

The initiative aims to inspire children to begin playing a brass instrument, and to support bands by finding the next generation of musicians.

The BBC Radio 4 'World at One' news programme featured music from a Kearsley Youth Band 'Proms in the Playground' performance in Bolton, along with an interview with BBE Brass Foundations Youth Specialist Helen Minshall.

Lasting memories

Presenter Jonny Dymond was certainly impressed, telling listeners that; "For many kids last year the end of school was a pretty miserable affair, devoid of the kind of events that might make for lasting memories. This year it will be very different."

In response Helen said: "There's nothing like a brass band. It was like Glastonbury this morning at our first school. The children were all on the field, and they got up to dance at one point! They all came out in their separate bubbles and were all able to join the show together."

The initiative has also featured in publications including the iNews paper and School House magazine, with iNews journalist, Will Hazell, writing: "With the coronavirus, music rooms and performance spaces have been eerily silent, hushed by social distancing restrictions.

But the silence is finally coming to an end. Communities across the country will explode into glorious sound emanating from some unconventional concert venues — our school playgrounds."

For many kids last year the end of school was a pretty miserable affair, devoid of the kind of events that might make for lasting memories. This year it will be very differentBBC Radio 4

More to come

Brass Bands England hopes that up to 100 performances will take place overall, with thousands of children, many who haven't played before, benefiting from the chance to experience a live musical performance.

One school is Cherry Tree Primary in Watford, where the school's Deputy Head Emma Hill said Covid has denied children many of the communal experiences that normally punctuate the year.

"We haven't even been able to have assemblies, which would be when you come together as a community… children haven't been able to go on school trips, which is really sad", she said.

"Proms in the Playground will provide the school with our one 'big event' that we'll have this year."

Brass Bands England now hopes to run the initiative again in July 2022.

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