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West Sussex Music Goes Online to offer High-Quality Virtual Music Experience

FRI 31 JUL 2020

As COVID-19 continues to reshape the world, local charity West Sussex Music Trust has announced that, from September, it will be moving its Music Centre offering online, in order to ensure that the county’s young musicians can continue to benefit from high-quality ensemble experiences, albeit in a virtual way.

Until such time as the charity can resume face-to-face teaching, 12 virtual ensembles will be on offer. These will include String, Wind and Big Band ensembles, as well as three contemporary groups (Keyboard, Guitar and Rock) and two choirs. Open to any student in the county who sings or plays an instrument to the required minimum grade level, these opportunities extend the West Sussex Music offering to those who may not have previously been able to access a Music Centre; bringing together Music Centre members and non-Music Centre members, alike.  “During the last three extraordinary months, West Sussex Music has been unable to provide the usual range of lessons, ensembles, projects and concerts. We realise that for young musicians, as well as our teachers, this has been a very quiet and dispiriting time, so it is great to be able to let people know about our upcoming plans.”  Explains West Sussex Music Chief Executive, James Underwood.  

“The experience of a summer term with no rehearsals, concerts or overseas tour is one we hope never to go through again. Covid-19 put a halt to our usual delivery and has created a challenging outlook for 2020-21 but despite the turmoil caused and the difficult decisions that had to be made, I am optimistic that we are doing everything possible to ensure that we can continue to support the ambitions of West Sussex’s young musicians. More than ever, I am certain that music will play a vital role in helping to heal the damage caused to young people by this crisis.”  Adds James Underwood. 

Virtual Ensembles will run for 10 weeks. beginning with an introductory session for students and their parents or carers on Saturday 19th, Monday 21st or Thursday 24th September, Membership subscription is £60 for one ensemble and £100 for two. Sessions will be led and conducted by West Sussex Music’s experienced musicians, teachers and performers. A full list of ensemble opportunities and details of how to apply can be found here.

West Sussex Music has been working hard to find ways to survive the financial impact of Coronavirus. As well as grant funding from Arts Council England, the charity is grateful for donations to the Virtual Music Centre from The Arts Society Chichester, The Arts Society City of Chichester and the Arts Society Lavant Valley. If you would like to support the work of the charity, which also plays a valued role as the Music Education Hub for West Sussex, then your donation would make a huge difference, especially at this challenging time.