INSPIRING FROM AFAR - Les Neish unveils online band project

Issue 6077

FLYING HIGH - Brett Baker on developing the upper register

COVID CANCELLATION - Saddleworth and Oldham Whit Friday off again

Foden's secures major Arts Council award

Friday 4 December, 2020

Foden's Band has received a major boost after it was successful in receiving funding of £31,500 from Arts Council England.

The award was made via the Grants for the Arts scheme and will be provided over a three-year period, contributing towards a total project cost of £61,888. The funding will see the band deliver a number of online events which will include a free winter school, a virtual concert and a large number of karaoke arrangements for players of different abilities to be accompanied online by Foden's members.

Several anniversaries will be celebrated as well as a female composer competition. Band members will be upskilled to deliver workshops and lessons with young people living with hearing loss and commissions and valuable resources to benefit the wider banding community will be produced. To help introduce new audiences to banding, Foden's will work with artists from different genres with funding being used to develop and market existing events by adopting a   professional approach to management and audience development. Meanwhile, the organisation will increase its youth outreach work, celebrating 10 years since the formation of Foden's Youth Band, which now boasts more than 100 members.

Speaking about the funding award, Mark Wilkinson commented: “After an extremely challenging year for all this is fantastic news for Foden's and banding in general. The funding allows Foden's to deliver a wide range of exciting projects to benefit the banding community, minority groups and to support those less abled than ourselves. It also allows us to raise the profile of brass bands in general and to interact with new audiences whilst working with a number of our educational and instrument partners. We are extremely grateful to Arts Council England for supporting our application as well as our vision and artistic plans. I would also like to thank Carole Crompton (a former member of the band and now vice president) for her expertise and guidance in submitting the funding application.”

The funding comes on the back of a busy year for the band (despite being in lockdown), which has produced 16 virtual band recordings, six podcasts and a successful online Whit Friday event as well as a music festival and solo contest, all of which has received more than 750,000 views.