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March 2015
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Upcoming Events

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HYM Trip to Jubilee Park

The Student Council have decided that this year’s HYM trip will be to Jubilee Park, Symonds Yat West, after the rehearsal on Saturday 25th April (this is the last rehearsal of the season). Closing date for applications is Monday 23rd March; places are limited, so please get applications in as soon as possible. The coach will leave Bishops at 12.15 and return there at approx. 5.15. Cost of the trip is £17 and everyone will need to bring a packed lunch.

For More information and to download a form, please click the following link.




OMG Herefordshire – Open to Entry

OMG Herefordshire once again open to entry for young musicians

Following the stellar success of Raye Harvey’s performance at the LG Arena last year, Herefordshire Music Service is happy to announce we are commissioning The Music Pool to deliver the second annual OMG Herefordshire competition.

Now open to everyone between the ages of 12 and 18, OMG Herefordshire aims to find the best young artist from the area, who will go to represent the county at OMG Live at the LG Arena in Birmingham. The competition closes on Friday 9th January 2015, at which point a shortlist of performers will be derived from entrants via consultation with some of the most active members of Herefordshire’s youth music scene, both young and old!

From there, the shortlist of acts will perform before a panel of judges at a final showdown at The Courtyard Centre for the Arts on February 8th. The winner of this showdown will not only get the chance to perform at one of the nation’s most prominent venues, but also have the chance to participate in a number of professional master-classes both before and after the event.

To enter OMG Herefordshire and be in with a chance of winning these amazing opportunities, simply upload a video to Youtube and email the link with a completed application form to

To get an application form, check terms and conditions or for any further queries, please get in touch with The Music Pool on 01432 278118 or visit their website at

To view the OMG flier, please click here.

A ‘Broad and Balanced Curriculum’ for our pupils

A ‘Broad and Balanced Curriculum’ for our pupils

Herefordshire Music Service was pleased to read several positive aspects in the recently published OFSTED ‘Report of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2013/14.’

We are pleased that our secondary school partners continue to provide ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools to the majority of pupils across the county. We congratulate our primary schools on their 11% increase in the numbers of schools being judged as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding.’

Working in partnership with around 80% of schools across the county, Herefordshire Music Service knows the impacts that high quality music education can make to our children and young people. Working with 3,000 pupils every week inevitably has an impact upon pupil’s progress and also that of our schools. Beyond musical skills, there is now much demonstrable evidence of the additional educational and social benefits that learning an instrument or singing brings. This was clearly evidenced by an inspirational primary headteacher at the Westminster Education Forum conference in London on 9th December where he showed that by implementing a significant musical/cultural offer, the impact it had upon both pupil progress and the school’s OFSTED rating.

Given the additional impact that music has upon both pupil and school improvement/progress, we were also delighted to read the following extract with the OFSTED report. As you will read, OFSTED are taking a proactive approach on ensuring that schools focus not just on literacy and numeracy, but on schools providing our young people with a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ offer. Having raised this directly with OFSTED, we very much support their initiative to identify the best examples of a broad and balanced curriculum in our schools. Let’s hope that they start with Herefordshire, as we have some great examples here which we should be shouting about!

Cliff Woollard

Head of Herefordshire Music Service
Managing Director of Encore Enterprises CIC

Section 50 from the OFSTED Report:

50. Children should enjoy a curriculum that provides a rich variety of knowledge and experience in school, no matter what their skills and abilities, and regardless of their personal circumstances. For the past few years, the emphasis of Ofsted’s inspection has rightly been on standards in English and mathematics. It is now time to broaden our focus. As our inspections of schools in Birmingham showed this year, it is vitally important that schools offer a broad and balanced curriculum that contributes to the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of pupils. It is essential to prepare pupils for life in Britain today. In addition to reporting on the quality of schools’ curricula in routine inspections, Ofsted will undertake a survey to identify the best examples of a broad and balanced curriculum in England this coming year.

Courtyard Panto – Jack and the Beanstalk

The Courtyard is currently running a production of “Jack and the Beanstalk” which the Managing Director of Encore Enterprises was invited along to, he had the following to say:

“We were invited to the Courtyard’s ‘Opening Night’ of their panto season to see Jack and the Beanstalk. I’ve never been to a panto at the Courtyard before. I have to say that it was absolutely hilarious! We laughed pretty much from start to finish! The ability to link the story of Jack and the Beanstalk alongside current topical themes/songs and also with Hereford was brilliant. I won’t go any further and spoil it for those of you who are going to see it! If you hadn’t planned to, then I thoroughly recommend it. We might even go again…”

Cliff Woollard 02.12.14

For more information and to book tickets for yourself, please click here

Shirehall Usage

We have been in discussion with Herefordshire Council in respect of our continued usage of the Shirehall following the move by Councillors to the Shirehall building in September. Following a meeting yesterday I am delighted to announce that we will be able to continue to use the Shirehall for our rehearsals and concerts.

Jo Davidson, Director for Children’s Wellbeing, Herefordshire Council has released the following statement to Councillors, which Encore both welcomes and fully supports.

Following recent communications regarding the Music Service’s use of Shire Hall, I am writing to confirm the arrangements.

The Music Service is a long-standing user of Shire Hall for rehearsal space, storage and concerts. Children and young people are a priority for the Council and there is a desire to ensure the Music Service can continue to use the facilities there.

Discussions had been opened with the service in terms of their needs and options, as we don’t know what the new Council may wish to do in relation to days and times of council meetings.

Following a meeting today (20/11/14), we have considered the options and I’m pleased to confirm the following:
• The orchestras and bands will continue to rehearse on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Shire Hall.
• The council will keep disruption to a minimum but in the event where a council meeting has to take place in the same room at the same time, then two weeks minimum notice will be given to enable the rehearsal to be moved.
• Some concerts will continue to be booked into Shire Hall, as one of several venues used, to give the orchestras, bands and ensembles experience of playing in different settings.
• Storage will continue as present.

These arrangements will be in place until July 2016, with a review in July 2015 to plan for arrangements from Sept 2016 onwards.

We are all pleased to continue this partnership, based on mutual trust and flexibility, enabling our children and young people to develop their musical talents.


Increased funding for Music Education Hubs for 2015-16!

Herefordshire Music Service is delighted to have read today that Nick Gibb MP (Education Minister) has announced increased funding for Music Education Hubs for 2015-16! J
Music Education Hubs in England have seen a decline in funding over the three years since their inception and this increase will bring us back to the level of a couple of years ago. In Herefordshire we were facing reduced services and increased charges from April 2015 due to the previous cuts in funding, therefore we are clearly extremely pleased to hear that funding will be increased rather than further reduced. We now eagerly await to hear how much Herefordshire’s increase will be!
For the full report click on the hyperlink below:
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