ARTS Council England has given the Berkshire Music Hub positive feedback on its strong year of
performance. Berkshire Maestros – the lead organisation of the Berkshire Music Hub – is a charitable trust providing music education opportunities to children and young people in Berkshire. The Hub receives Arts Council England funding to co-ordinate and leads musical activities across West Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough.
Strengths outlined in the feedback include excellent school engagement, commitment to quality assurance, strong partnership working, rising pupil numbers from a range of backgrounds being identified as exceptionally talented, quality music learning opportunities and strong governance of the organisation. Berkshire Maestros CEO Lynne Ellis said: “We are delighted with this feedback as it supports and recognises our hard work and commitment to our children and young people, our staff, schools, parents and partners.”
Music hubs were launched across the country in 2012, funded by Arts Council England, and Berkshire Maestros has been the lead organisation of the Berkshire Music Hub ever since. Hubs are partnerships made up of strategic local, regional and national music organisations and individual professional musicians and artists as well as schools and unitary authorities. The Berkshire Music Hub brings together many national and local music organisations and individuals, including Readipop, Reading Arts, Windsor Festival, Philip Brown Violins and Hogan Music. In November 2016 the government announced that funding for music hubs would be continued until 2020, confirming that 121 hubs will share £300m of funding.
Ms Ellis continued: “Now that Arts Council England has confirmed hub funding for the next four years, we look forward to further developing these areas as well as improving and expanding our provision to continue providing the best possible musical service and support to everyone we work with.”
Among the points of note in the review was “excellent school engagement at 98 per cent across both primary and secondary schools” and a “significant rise of pupils from a range of backgrounds being identified as exceptionally talented and being given the opportunity to experience world-class performing opportunities”.