With various aspects of the lockdown gradually easing, we are all looking forward to returning to a sense of normality by resuming what we have missed so much during these months. It is wonderful to hear that live music is at the top of the ‘priority list’ for many of you in the WMC community, be it going to a concert, attending a music lesson, joining a band or a choir for weekly rehearsals in the same space, getting involved in a music making creative session, the list goes on.
We cannot wait to be able to reopen as a concert hall and welcome back artists on the WMC stage in a not-so-distanced future, however this currently looks like a long road ahead of us. Yesterday, alongside 1,500 artists we took part in the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign to highlight the crisis faced by the live music sector and demand immediate actions to support it. Live music added £4.5 billion to the British economy and supported 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019; and beyond the economic impact, I am sure you will agree that the sector makes an enormous contribution to our wellbeing, our society and our culture.
For now, the good news is that community centres are allowed to open from tomorrow onwards, so we have started discussing with partners, regular groups and users what this might look like for WMC and how we can best prepare to welcome musicians young and old back to the Centre. Very exciting conversations, and we hope to tell you more about this soon. In the meantime, keep music alive wherever you are and read on.
What's not On
🌟 Autumn / Winter Throwbacks 🌟
This week would have seen Priority Booking launch for our Autumn / Winter season. We wanted to take the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of our favourite season openers from recent years...
2019 - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Last year, our season opener was truly unique as we had to relocate to Holy Trinity Church! That didn't stop our friends at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra putting on a fantastic show, closing with a fiery rendition of Tchaikovsky's brooding Fifth Symphony.
2018 - Alex Mendham and His Orchestra
This season opener was a real party, with Alex Mendham and his Orchestra bringing the house down with a roaring set of classics from the 20's. We sat down with Alex a couple of weeks ago to discuss what he's up to during lockdown and to look forward to the future - make sure you read the interview if you missed it!
With a beautiful programme of Debussy, Bach and Copland, including a stunning dance routine to accompany an enchanting arrangement of Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, City of London Sinfonia's season opener was so wonderfully memorable. Check out what they've been up to during lockdown on YouTube!
So what makes a season opening so special? And what has to happen behind the scenes to make a WMC concert a success? We sat down with James Slater, WMC's Artistic Director, to discuss this and what he's looking forward to about reopening...
Skydive? Danceathon? Bake Sale? We’re looking for community heroes to help us fundraise for WMC so that we can support our community in the challenging months ahead.
In just two weeks time, we will be launching a major new fundraising appeal to help us to re-open the Centre, bring back artists, reach out to audiences and support the wider community through the very best live music experiences.
We have had some amazing support from #TeamWMC in the past: running half marathons, bikeathons, and most recently a Virtual 10K.
We can't wait for our next meet up with our amazing volunteers! Every month, the team grabs a coffee and catches up with the people who make WMC tick. Last month, our Box Office Manager and Volunteers Coordinator Max performed a wonderful set of jazz keyboard from home.
Led by Mike Daniels and Ross Hughes, Jazz Factory are a WMC regular, filling WMC with jazzy tunes every Monday evening. They've continued to meet and make music online throughout lockdown. They'll be sharing their termly showcase on Monday 6th July, so be sure to log on to their website to check out the players in action!
In the meantime, have a look at what they've been up to over the past months...
Membership donations play a pivotal role in Wiltshire Music Centre's fundraising, providing a solid foundation of regular income from which to build dynamic programmes of work. This ongoing support is especially important as we navigate these uncertain times now and in the months ahead.
If you believe in the work of Wiltshire Music Centre and would like to join our family of Friends and Angels in supporting us through a membership donation, we would be extremely grateful. Friends and Angels enjoy a range of benefits, including priority booking and exclusive events, and membership starts from just £30 per year.
We are extremely grateful for the support and generosity of our Friends and audiences at this extraordinary time.
Concert income normally represents over 40% of our annual income, and the Centre has to raise over £75,000 a year in donations to deliver our Artistic and Community programmes. We need your help more than ever to ensure that we continue to deliver high quality ensembles for young musicians, creative opportunities for young adults with learning disabilities, and cultural activities to rurally isolated older people across the county. Thank you!