Ealing is one of 22 London boroughs currently vying for the chance to become Borough of Culture. And two local music organisations are hopeful our borough is ‘well placed’ to have a chance of winning.
Ealing’s Borough of Culture bid is currently being considered by the Mayor of London with a decision to be announced on Tuesday, 27 February at City Hall. Councils who are unsuccessful in their bids may still have the chance to receive some funding for cultural projects.
Borough of Culture winners to be announced on 27 February
Supporting Ealing’s bid are a number of cultural organisations within the borough including Ealing Youth Orchestra (EYO) and Ealing Music Service (EMS). Both provide opportunities for young adults and children to further their passion for music.
Next year could be a very special year for the borough because as well as the bid for Borough of Culture, both organisations will be celebrating anniversaries, 60 years for EYE and 20 for EMS.
Both organisations highlight the borough’s musical heritage and encourage children to embrace that and learn new skills.
Lee Marchant, assistant head of service for EMS, said: “EMS aims to provide local schools and young people in the community with high quality music lessons, activities and other innovative, culturally diverse and accessible services.
“We have a fantastic team of teachers that are specialists in their musical genre…”
“We offer instrumental lessons and workshops in schools, including traditional orchestral instruments, as well as Indian music, Indonesian gamalan, Brazilian samba, Japanese taiko and bamboo tamboo from Trinidad and Tobago. We have a fantastic team of teachers that are specialists in their musical genre and are leading practitioners in their field.”
Christopher Brown, EYO chairman, said: “Generations of teenagers have passed through EYO’s ranks, many of them going on to musical careers themselves. The orchestra has 90 members aged 13-19 who attend more than 30 different local schools around west London.”
The organisations form a part of the pyramid of musical opportunities within the borough. Playing music and being around like-minded individuals plays an important part in the development of young people.
“Playing in an orchestra is a fantastic opportunity for young people,” said Christopher. “Sitting alongside other teenagers from widely different backgrounds to find common purpose in playing music of such power and humanity is a very rich experience for them and for those who hear them play. Parents often comment that their children gain in confidence and broaden their outlook through playing in the orchestra.”
So why do Lee and Christopher think Ealing should win Borough of Culture?
“As one of the biggest and most diverse boroughs in London, Ealing is well placed to celebrate diversity and inclusion to bring together residents to work side by side,” Lee said.
“It (Ealing) is also one of the greenest parts of the capital with beautiful parks and open spaces…”
Christopher added: “Ealing is a vibrant, busy and exciting part of London with many different cultures represented. It is also one of the greenest parts of the capital with beautiful parks and open spaces, plus an exceptional artistic heritage of film, theatre, music and visual arts. All of these things would come together to create a memorable year which would enhance the lives of local people and bring many others into the borough.”