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New Hackney Scholar of the Month – Eleanor

Welcome to our Monthly Spotlight!

Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on hard-working talented pupils from across the borough in receipt of awards from a range of different funders. 













‘Never give up and keep trying ‘till you achieve.’ Eleanor

Our January Hackney Scholar of the Month is Eleanor.  Eleanor is a recipient of a Pupil Award for Musical Achievement from the Mayor of Hackney.  Now in its 6th year, the Hackney Mayor’s Music Awards (MMA) is a fund, established by the Mayor of Hackney, to help and support aspiring young musicians to develop their musical skills and also to recognise the quality of the music education offer in Hackney’s schools. 

What made you decide to play your instrument?
I had a chance to try out different instruments when I was at my primary school. I knew I didn’t want to learn the violin, I wanted to try something different.  So I tried a flute and a clarinet.  I found I could make a sound on the clarinet the first time I tried to play it. At that time none of my friends were playing this instrument and it made me feel really proud to be the only one learning.  And I’ve been really enjoying it ever since.
What do you love most about it?
I love that it is an instrument that is easy to play and that you can have a chance of many concerts and activities 
How often do practice?
I practise every day for at least an hour
Do you play in any ensembles – orchestras, bands, in or out of school, or with HMS?
Yes. I rehearse with Hackney Training Orchestra every week and I’m also in my school orchestra and big band
What has been your most exciting musical experience so far?         
My first Hackney Music Service Gala Concert at the Hackney Empire, the Federation Music Festival that I performed in with my primary school at the Round Chapel and now my first Christmas concert at my secondary school.
What musician would you most like to meet or perform with?
I would like to meet Anne-Marie and Beethoven
If you could travel anywhere in the world to listen to / learn more music or even travel back in time to a different musical era, where would you go and why?
I would go to Austria to study more of Mozart because he was an amazing composer that composed many famous songs.
How does being a musician / performing music make you feel?
Performing music makes me feel happy and safe
Any words of advice to someone just starting out on their instrument now?
Never give up and keep trying until you achieve.

Eleanor started learning the clarinet with a Hackney Music Service tutor when she was in primary school and hasn’t looked back since!  She made exceptionally good progress and as a beginner learner, and at the end of Year 6 she passed her ABRSM Grade 4 exam which is a fantastic achievement, particularly for such a young player.  Eleanor is a member of the Hackney Training Orchestra and regularly takes part in HMS concerts such as the annual Gala at the Hackney Empire, and the Schools Music and Dance Festival at the Round Chapel.  And now she is at secondary school she is fully embracing musical life there also as a member of the school orchestra and big band.  Keep up the good work Eleanor!


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London Music Fund: Samuel from Hackney, December Scholar of the Month












We are extremely delighted to announce that Hackney pupil Samuel has been nominated as Scholar of the Month for December by the London Music Fund (LMF). You can read the full announcement and interview with Samuel on the LMF website here.

Samuel was first identified as being extraordinarily gifted by his primary school music teacher, which led to him being nominated for the LMF award by Hackney Music Service (HMS).  Samuel, now a secondary pupil in Hackney and in his third year of the LMF award, has developed a profound interest in developing his jazz skills, primarily as a pianist, but also as a percussionist.  He now attends HMS network partner organisation HMDT’s Saturday Music Programme, the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy.  As you will see from his interview, this has enabled Samuel to learn and play alongside world class jazz musicians and provides him with an outstanding jazz music education programme.  Samuel is also a long standing member of the Classical Meets Jazz ensemble – a partnership project run by HMS, the London Symphony Orchestra and Serious, bringing together pupils culturally and demographically underrepresented in professional music-making across the genres.

A huge congratulations to Samuel for his success and hard work so far!

If you would like any further information about the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy or any of the other HMDT Saturday programmes you can contact them on 020 8882 8825 or 

For more information about other scholar opportunities visit the bursaries page here.

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Classical Road Show – Dreamtime Tales












Invitation to all pupils aged 7-11 years in school groups to join in participatory concert with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ben Glassberg.

A rare musical theatre experience with music written especially for performance by the professional orchestra, narrators and primary school children.

Children work with their teachers in school to learn the music then come along on concert day to perform from their audience seats with the musicians. Everyone in the concert hall takes part and we encourage everyone to come in simple costume.

Dreamtime Tales takes you back in time to 1768 to sail with Captain Cook as he discovers unknown Southern lands where the indigenous people tell their beguiling stories of how the spirits created the earth. Some of the tales are scary; some are amusing; all are fun to sing. The orchestra will be joined by the haunting sound of the didgeridoo…..

Concerts start with a rehearsal of all the audience songs and the conductor will introduce some of the key instruments of the orchestra and the sounds they make.


18th March 2019 – Concerts at 11.15am and 1.30pm (last for 1 hour)


Cadogan Hall, Chelsea SW1X 9DQ (3 mins walk from Sloane Square tube station)

Further information:

Tickets cost £5 each.  (Financial support is available for ‘pupil premium’ students and others who have difficulty paying for tickets.)

Classical Road Show provides all the learning materials for teachers to work with their students to learn the songs in school including music, learning CD and Australian project. Music is suitable for all musical abilities – some schools come with choirs, others with whole classes.

More information and bookings through Classical Road Show website here

or email

or call 07827 679115 (Sheila)

Bookings open now – teaching materials will be sent out at the end of Autumn term so that schools have plenty of time to learn the music from January 2019 onwards.

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Serious & the EFG London Jazz Festival Jazz Experiments: Exploring Jazz Through the Music of Charles Mingus.











Serious & the EFG London Jazz Festival Jazz Experiments: Exploring Jazz Through the Music of Charles Mingus.

This mass participation performance piece will be composed and led by double bassist Ed Babar, and the Blues and Roots Ensemble. Amateur musicians of all ages (7 +) and abilities will are invited to apply to take part in this exciting new project.

Exploring ideas of collective improvisation, Blues and Roots Ensemble have created a new piece for musicians of all ages and abilities, based on the music of Charles Mingus, including swing, bebop and Latin American styles.

Participants will perform this new suite alongside the ensemble and will be given the opportunity to improvise in both solo and group settings. Through a series of workshops, ideas such as swing phrasing, rhythm section accompaniment and soloing will be explored, guided by specialist jazz educators from the band. These workshops will culminate in a live performance on Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2018.


Rehearsals: Rich Mix (Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA)

Performance: Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre


Sunday 28 October: 

3pm-6pm – Rehearsal at Rich Mix (Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA)

Sunday 4 November:

3pm-6pm – Rehearsal at Rich Mix (Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA)

Sunday 18 November: 

Rehearsal and performance day at Southbank Centre

We are delighted to host this participatory music-making performance, and to do so we are looking for enthusiastic amateur musicians of all ages and abilities to apply to take part! Why not encourage the whole family to apply and join in together?

More information and details on how to apply can be found here

We look forward to welcoming you!


Blues and Roots Ensemble

Blues and Roots Ensemble is a band of 7 diverse performers hailing from countries as far afield as Sicily, South Africa, India and Cuba. Led by double bassist Ed Babar, the group aims to share the stunning music of Charles Mingus through live performances and education/outreach work. Having launched in January 2017 the band has quickly grown a reputation for its raucous and energetic performances, and creative interpretations of classic Mingus compositions, selling out venues such as The Jazz Cafe, The Vortex, The Crypt and The Elgar Room in the Royal Albert Hall. 

Through its education work the band has spread this unique music to thousands of pupils nationwide, receiving grants for schools’ projects through Arts Council England and Cambridgeshire Music Service as well as workshops through Cambridge Jazz Festival.

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Barbican Box Music 2019












Barbican Box Music – Jan – April 2019

Barbican Box Music is the perfect tool to inspire musical collaboration in class and this year we will work with Native Instruments a leading manufacturer of software and hardware for computer based music making and DJing. With CPD training and in-school workshops, Barbican Box Music facilitates secondary school students and their teachers to create their own music, culminating with students arriving at the Barbican to present their original work in our Concert Hall. 

Artists now use a variety of everyday objects and technology, plus traditional instruments, to create their music and this year the box will act to inspire teachers and students to push the boundaries of what is possible in the music classroom. 

The programme runs from Jan – April 2019 and is designed for music teachers in secondary schools who wish to develop their own skills in composition, music production and that of their students.  The programme will provide:

  • The Barbican Box itself and all the contents in it (note some objects may be on loan)
  • An accompanying teacher pack, plus support throughout the project to deal with queries quickly
  • Four teacher training sessions led by Native Instruments
  • Three artist mentor visits to the school to support the creative process, the teacher and students
  • Tickets to a Barbican show for participating students and chaperones, plus a Q&A with the artists
  •  A showcase for the participating students in the Barbican Concert Hall, open to the public

For more information and to complete to an application form, click here

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Let’s Make Music Summer School

Are you a young musician wanting to jam and create music with others? Join us for our 3 day music project!

Together we will cover: song writing, instrumental skills, vocal and pop band technique. You will get the chance to work with professional musicians, take away a recording of performances and put on a rocking final concert.

Who: drums, guitars, keys, bass and vocals

Where: OLSJ school, Buckingham Rd, N1 4JB

When: August 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Ages: 8–16, Time: 9-3pm

Cost: £100 for 3days *sibling discount available


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