My first blog post for Chets Outreach! Its been an amazing year for Chets Outreach this year. Not an easy one in some ways, but we feel proud of some very exciting achievements – hopefully there are many more to come!
I can’t quite believe we are at the start of a new term already – the end of summer term seems like yesterday. I was so proud of Violetta, our young string ensemble – their wonderful end-of-term concert gave their families, friends, Chet’s staff and students an insight into the work they do in schools throughout the year. They are so good at talking to the students in those schools, presenting their instruments and being ambassadors for learning an instrument. So much more powerful than when us grown ups do it!
Our Sports Day concerts for schools and families in July were a great way to round off the 2017-18 Outreach concert programme in the fabulous Stoller Hall. Less than a year ago the first Outreach concerts were in the early planning stages – now we look back on 11 performances by the Outreach Ensemble, to over 1000 young audience members, and can’t thank those audiences enough. Their support and feedback was immensely helpful and inspired and informed our future programme.
We reckon we reached around 3300 people with our projects last year and that 40 schools or sixth form colleges took part in them, as well as other community groups and organisations. I’m thrilled with that, but we can always do more and better. So we are looking to work closely with our friends in the local music education hubs and many other partners in the field of music education to make sure that what we plan really does respond to need and impacts where it is most needed. It’s great that our relationships with the Greater Manchester Music Education Hub and MyHub continue to go from strength to strength – and we’re pleased that we’ll be working very closely with Accent Music Hub as well next year, in particular supporting their jazz and string programmes.
I’m really excited that we are in the midst of planning fantastic projects with Salford schools, involving the Outreach team’s Creative Artists in workshops for pupils and teachers, and developing our partnership working with Manchester Camerata. Our new website gives us more room to share news about Outreach, but also spaces for communicating with our project participants – exciting times! Obviously it would be dreadful if you only heard from me in his blog, so you’ll be relieved to hear that you can expect contributions from colleagues, too – watch this space…
Meanwhile – as we’ve said elsewhere, our website is new and may not (yet!) be perfect. If you have any comments, concerns, or feedback let us know. This is your space too.
PS If you don’t already, do follow us on twitter @ChetsOutreach