Rotary’s Music Relay Song for Peace

Rotary’s Music Relay Song for Peace

We are excited to be performing a leg of the relay at the upcoming Rotary Peace Conference 2024, February 10th, in London. The event promises an innovative addition to its program: a special musical performance by the young composer and arranger, Oscar Brown (16). Attendees can anticipate an evening of harmony and inspiration as we share our latest project with the world. This is designed to resonate with the conference’s theme of promoting Positive Peace.

A notable aspect of the musical program is Rotary’s collaboration with the Commonwealth Resounds, which will showcase a global musical relay. This collaborative effort aims to spread messages of peace and unity worldwide through the language of music. The inclusion of music in the conference underscores Rotary’s commitment to exploring diverse avenues for promoting peace and understanding.

Attendees are encouraged to join this unique musical experience and witness firsthand the transformative power of music in fostering global harmony. You can find out more by visiting The Rotary website here.

 

 

Play On: supporting music making in Lagos, Nigeria

Play On: supporting music making in Lagos, Nigeria

Kunbi’s Music Company

Play On: supporting music making in Lagos, Nigeria

This year we’re supporting Kunbi’s Music Company through our Play On fund, specifically their Making a Difference (MAD) Initiative, which seeks to provide affordable music making opportunities to families who would otherwise not be able to have music lessons.

We asked Kunbi Osinoiki, Co-Founder and CEO to tell us more about the MAD Initiative.

Can you tell us something about music making and education in Nigeria?

Nigerians love music and we have artistes like Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Wizz Kid, David O, Tems, Rhema and so many more, who have popularised Nigerian music and who have millions of fans worldwide.

However, the majority of our musicians have had to, at some point in their lives, enrol in music schools outside of Nigeria in order to refine and enhance their skills. Music tuition in Nigeria is predominantly by rote. The cost of purchasing musical instruments and tuition is out of reach of the majority of the population.

How does KMC support young people?

We launched the Making a Difference Initiative in June 2022, with the aim of widening access to music tuition to children in Nigeria.

We have been able to provide financial assistance to families who could otherwise not afford music tuition, deliver lessons in low-income schools and recruit and train intending music teachers so they are better equipped to teach music effectively to children.

How did the Making a Difference Initiative come about?

In the course of my music education journey, I became keenly aware of the power of well-structured music education to help develop a learner’s cognition, character, courage, creativity and confidence and I became burdened by the limited opportunities available to families in Nigeria to access well-structured music lessons.

So in June 2022, I decided to do something about it, and started reaching out to schools in underserved communities to see how we can provide music tuition to their students.

This led us to working with various schools including a school for children with physical and learning disabilities.

That experience led us to fundraising for, and purchasing Africa’s first Soundbeam, which would allow us to provide inclusive music making experiences for children living with disabilities.

What are the next steps for the Making a Difference Initiative?

Thanks to ABRSM Play On funding, we have been able to establish two new centres, from where we will be able to reach more people in those locations.

We have instituted a scholarship programme for teenagers starting in September 2023, where we are looking to provide tuition-free lessons for up to 40 teenagers in our teen band and choir groups.

We are also looking to provide low-cost training for more music educators that would enable them to become properly certified with internationally recognised exam bodies.

Visit KMC’s website at https://kunbismusiccompany.com


 

ALS and Spark for Life Fundraising Concert

ALS and Spark for Life Fundraising Concert

Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and ALS Awareness Fundraiser concert with the Commonwealth Resounds

To celebrate the International Day of Older Persons and the International Day of Music, we are delighted to partner with CommonAge to create a special concert to help raise funds for the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and research into ALS a form of Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Performers from each Commonwealth Region have given their time to put this event together.

We are delighted to support both these charities. The Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life aims to humanise care for people with dementia. They create a culture where people with dementia feel valued, loved and supported.

Join us on Sunday 1st October, for the launch this special concert.

It is free to watch for all. In return, we ask that you consider making a donation to these brilliant charities using our link here.

Donate now

Introduced by Jane Seymour OBE

Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

Jane starred in the film Ruby’s Choice. It tells the story of Ruby, a woman living alone with early dementia and its impact on her and her family when she moves in to live with them.

This ground-breaking film received the award for Best Picture from the Australian Screen Industry Network for 2022. Just recently, the film received two prestigious awards at the 2023 Burbank Film Festival for best feature film and best foreign feature film.

In addition Jane Seymour was honoured with the award for Best Actress for her outstanding authentic and perception-shifting portrayal of Ruby.

Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life was the charity associated with Ruby’s Choice and supported its production with advice about dementia.

Headlined by international renowned Heerraa Ravindran

Award-winning singer-songwriter from Malaysia.

Heerraa is a voting Member of the esteemed Recording Academy (GRAMMYs®). With a powerful and dynamic musical style, Heerraa has garnered widespread acclaim for her soul-stirring performances and profound songwriting.

Having toured new music in the US, Heerraa has performed in Nashville, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Named one of Prestige Malaysia’s 40 Under 40 for the most successful, innovative, and influential young people, Heerraa’s repertoire includes her song, “The Girl Who Loved”, which was featured on Simulacra 2’s Original Game Soundtrack, as well as receiving the Best in North America (Pop) Award for her song, “Feel Alive”, & ICON Award at the InterContinental Music Awards 2022 in Los Angeles.

Concert Programme

Introduced by:
Jane Seymour OBE

Speaker:
Dr Vivienne Cox,
63-year-old bio scientist and amateur singer explains how her life has changed since her recent ALS diagnosis.

Speaker:
Nilanjana Maulik,
Secretary General, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorder Society of India, Calcutta Chapter, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and CommonAge Fellow, explains how the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life has changed lives in India. It includes a beautiful musical rendition of a poem written by Tagore, a Nobel Prize for Literature winner.

Performer:
Heerraa Ravindran, from Malaysia.

Performer:
The Joy Gospel Singers, from Malta.

Performer:
Devon Packer, from Canada.

Performer:
The Phoenix Collective, from Australia.

Speakers:
Richard Semanda, Founder, Geriatric Respite Care Foundation, Uganda, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and CommonAge Ambassador
Jesca Nakibirango, Founder of Rise and Shine Dyslexic Organisation, Uganda and Spark of Life Master Practitioner explains how the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life has changed lives in Uganda.

Performer:
The Pan African Choir ‘Malaika’, from Uganda.

Raising funds for Charity

While the concert is free to watch, we invite you to make a donation, which will be split between our two chosen charities, Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life an independent Australian-based charity supporting leaders around the Commonwealth, and the world to provide excellence in dementia care, and Music for ALS, which will fund research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Commonwealth Music Relay Launch

On Tuesday, 14th September, the Commonwealth community celebrated the launch of the Commonwealth Music Relay at St James’s Palace. Supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the launch of the relay was presented as a special event at the end of the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Awards.

In the presence of HRH Prince Edward, The Duke of Edinburgh, we were delighted by his keen interest in the project. As a patron of several arts and music organisations, Prince Edward said he was eager to witness the Music Relay’s progress and its impact across the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Music Relay is an ambitious, collaborative project that seeks to unite every country within the Commonwealth through the universal language of music. This project encourages talented musicians to create and share their musical ideas, forming a collaborative Music Relay that will eventually span across all participating countries.

To kickstart the Commonwealth Music Relay, a song was specially composed and premiered at St James’s Palace. This was performed by musicians from the Purcell School for Young Musicians and Meera Maharaj, a brilliant young professional flautist with cultural connections to Trinidad.

Over the course of the Music Relay, this original song will inspire musicians and composers across the Commonwealth to reimagine, reinvent, and share their own versions online.

The grand culmination of the Commonwealth Music Relay will be a spectacular final performance set to take place in Samoa, coinciding with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2024.

Join the Relay: An Open Call to Young Musicians and Composers

After the global success of our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee project, broadcast live from Buckingham Palace in June 2022, we are offering a new musical challenge to all young Commonwealth musicians and composers.

The Commonwealth Music Relay is now open to participants in two distinct categories:

Musicians, singers, and composers aged between 18 and 30 as of 1st September 2023.
Those under the age of 18 as of the same date.
The relay invites participants to draw inspiration from the song ‘Symphony’, crafted by young composers from all five regions of the Commonwealth. Participants can either present their unique arrangement of ‘Symphony’ or create an original variation inspired by fragments of the song.

The Relay Process

Listen: Begin by immersing in ‘Symphony’, as performed by pupils from The Purcell School for Young Musicians.
Create: Use the song as a creative springboard for your own rendition.
Record: Film or record your piece, ensuring authenticity and passion. Expensive setups are unnecessary.
Upload: Share your masterpiece with the global community.
Pass it On: Extend the relay by sharing your music with another musician or group, urging them to offer their take.

Play On Funds 10 projects!

Play On Funds 10 projects!

Play On Funds 10 Projects!

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and The Commonwealth Resounds launched the Play On fund in January 2023 to support music-making initiatives worldwide. Administered by The Commonwealth Resounds, Play On has already begun to make a significant impact by providing financial support to a diverse range of organizations outside of the UK. In 2023, the Play On fund has generously supported ten inspiring groups that are making a positive difference in their communities through music.

2023 Recipients

The 2023 recipients of the Play On fund represent an impressive mix of organizations from various parts of the world. These groups are making a profound difference in their communities through music education and engagement. Let’s take a moment to learn about these remarkable organizations:

BLUME Haiti:

Building Leaders Using Music Education (BLUME) Haiti uses music as a tool for social change. The organisation works in partnership with more than 50 music schools across Haiti to uplift thousands of Haitian youth through the creative power of music. ABRSM’s

Play On funding will support their Haitian Orchestral Institute programme, including helping young musicians from dangerous and inaccessible parts of Haiti travel to a safer part of the country to attend workshops and concerts.

Casa Alianza Mexico:

In partnership with Compass Children’s Charity, which funds projects in Latin America that have a meaningful and positive impact on at-risk, migrant and street children globally, we are pleased to be supporting Casa Alianza Mexico with Play On funding in 2023.

ABRSM’s grant will support their music therapy project, which proactively engages children in music workshops designed to support their emotional development and the development of new skills. It also works to repair damage caused to motor skills through prolonged solvent abuse on the streets and supports a detoxification process to prevent relapses.

Cayman Youth Choir:

ABRSM is supporting the Cayman Youth Choir through Play On this year, specifically their involvement in the “Stronger Together Choral Festival”, which proudly aims to bring together a wide range of young people from the Cayman Islands, in a celebration of music and song. The festival will feature workshops led by Mark De-Lisser and will culminate in a gala concert to showcase the unifying power of music.

 

Harmony Kenya Foundation:

The Harmony Kenya Foundation works to establish or support music departments in Government schools in Kenya. ABRSM’s Play On grant will support the Foundation’s programme at Westlands School, a primary school in Nairobi, including the purchase of new instruments and expansion of their tuition programme.

Harmony Project Phoenix:

Harmony Project Phoenix is a non-profit organisation devoted to expanding educational opportunities for marginalised students by leveraging the transformative influence of music. Since its establishment in 2015, the organisation has made a profound impact on the lives of more than 600 young individuals, with a specific focus on those from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds.

ABRSM’s Play On funding will support the American Sign Language (ASL) Choir, an innovative music initiative that serves as a bridge between the world of music and children with hearing impairments. Through an interactive and engaging approach rooted in play-based learning, the ASL Choir strives to build students’ confidence and increase representation of musicians with hearing impairments in the performing arts.

JSM Academy:

JSM Academy is a non-profit music academy that provides quality music education to disadvantaged communities within the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The Academy offers learners both instrumental and music theory tuition and provides young musicians with opportunities to develop their performance skills. ABRSM’s Play On funding will support their programme through the purchase of instruments, accessories and exam support materials.

Kunbi’s Music Company:

Kunbi’s Music Company is a hybrid music school, located in Lagos, Nigeria, that provides music lessons to students of all ages and abilities, both within Nigeria and around the world. The organisation aims to deliver music learning experiences that are fun, accessible and rewarding for all learners, and ABRSM’s Play On funding will support their work in two of their Lagos centres.

String Heads Music:

ABRSM’s Play On funding will support String Heads Music and their ‘Jingle Bells’ programme in schools across India’s Kerala region. The programme helps Indian schools develop music departments through the provision of a music curriculum, teacher training, instruments and resources.

Thrive Music Academy Africa:

Thrive Music Academy Africa is a non-profit and community-based music organisation based in Kampala, Uganda. The organisation provides quality music education to young people from lower income backgrounds and ABRSM’s Play On grant will help with the purchase of both African musical instruments such as drums and thumb pianos, and Western instruments to support the creation of a junior orchestra and brass band.

The Academy’s Founder & Executive Director, Elijah Kiwalabye, says the programme will “restore the hope of many young people in Uganda, especially those who had lost it to Covid 19’s effects. It will also enable us to discover, ignite and nurture many more music talents as never before, especially among those who had lost hope of learning music due to lack of music tuition and music instruments”.