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£375k allows Berkshire Maestros to play on

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Berkshire Maestros recorders (46047546)
Berkshire Maestros recorders (46047546)

BERKSHIRE Maestros has been awarded £375,270 as part of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund administered by Arts Council England.

The funding, announced by the Arts Council on Friday, will enable the charity to continue to run much-needed music education activities in schools and for families across Berkshire.

It will also allow them to launch new initiatives, including two live bands who will perform in schools across the county.

This is particularly exciting given the lack of live music opportunities over the last year and will give Berkshire’s schoolchildren unique access to either a live instrumental band (for primary schools) or an energetic rock band (for secondary schools).

Berkshire Maestros CEO Dawn Wren said: “We are delighted to receive this wonderful funding that will benefit so many children in Berkshire.

“The last year has been challenging for everyone, and as the largest music education provider in the county we have worked hard with schools and families to ensure music can continue as much as possible.

“We have heard many times that our music lessons have been vital for young people’s wellbeing and mental health during lockdown.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted heavily on our budgets and we welcome the funding as recognition of the important role music plays in education and wellbeing for all young people.

“This grant will enable us to rebuild the group activities and events that we have missed so much, and to open up new musical opportunities for children who haven’t yet benefitted from learning an instrument or making music with others.”

Berkshire Maestros is one of almost 3,800 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £300m of investment announced last week. This is the second time the organisation has been successful in securing this vital funding and will help to recover some of the financial losses incurred throughout the Covid pandemic, as well as looking ahead to future activities.

Arts Council England chairman Sir Nicholas Serota said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.”

Berkshire Maestros, lead organisation of the Berkshire Music Hub, was established in 1982 and provides high-quality and affordable music tuition through schools and music centres across the county. The charity also provides choirs and group music-making opportunities for all instruments and skill levels, beginning with Early Years Mini Maestros groups for babies and toddlers, right through to county youth ensembles and teenage rock bands.

“We work closely with schools across the county to allow all children access to music and the opportunity to play an instrument. Through our local music centres, we offer people of all ages the chance to sing, play instruments and enhance their life-skills through music.

“Our choirs, orchestras and ensembles perform at prestigious venues across the county and beyond – helping the children to develop their team-working and communications skills as well as building their confidence.”

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