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Hampshire Music Service hits the right note

Hampshire County Council’s Music Service has been awarded a Diploma of Merit by The National Music Council (NMC) for its excellent music provision for children and young people.

The award was part of the NMC’s annual Local Authority Music Education Awards. The awards have been in existence for over 35 years and this is the sixth time Hampshire Music Service has received an NMC award for the quality of music teaching and support it provides to schools and young musicians.

Hampshire Music Service teaches around 39,000 pupils, many through the wider opportunities whole class programme, Listen2Me, which aims to bring music tuition to every primary school. Furthermore, over 3,000 pupils take part in one or more of the 70 ensembles that the service runs.  

The latest award for the service follows on from an outstanding rating last year from the Federation of Music Services.

Young musicians and singers, under the guidance of HMS tutors, have also taken part in the national Schools Prom event held at the Royal Albert Hall. The last occasion was in 2009 when around 800 Hampshire pupils premiered a specially commissioned work by nationally-acclaimed composer, Stephen McNeff.  "The Darwin Dilemma" was a 12-minute extravaganza taking its inspiration from the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, with 12 dramatic scenes involving singers, instrumentalists, puppeteers and dancers.

The NMC award was presented on Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at the British Phonographic Industry offices in London.

Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Deputy Leader said: This is a well-deserved award for Hampshire’s Music Service. Through their expert guidance the musical talent of Hampshire’s children and young people is nurtured and developed. The ensembles, choirs and orchestras they run perform regularly at venues across the county and I would urge anyone who gets the opportunity to go and listen to them to do so – they will not be disappointed.”

Colin, Kevin and James with the NMC Diploma of Merit Award