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Latest News

Please see our Press page for official press releases and media contacts.

17 January 2020
New Dementia Singing Café now taking bookings. Following a successful pilot project last year, we are delighted that the Singing Café for those living with dementia is coming back to Bracknell. Our pilot proved to us that singing enabled those with dementia to unlock their memories and release their voices. The dementia café will take place fortnightly (during term-time) and will be held at Bracknell Open Learning Centre. Places can be booked online – for further details please click here.
Dementia Cafe
16 January 2020
New Parkinson’s Singing Café now taking bookings. After our successful pilot project last year, we are pleased to announce that our Singing Café for those living with Parkinson’s is returning to Bracknell. As well as being a fun, social event, singing has proven physiological benefits for those with Parkinson’s, such as helping improve the swallowing mechanism. Taking place fortnightly (during term-time) and will be held at Bracknell Open Learning Centre. Places can be booked online – for further details click here.
Parkinsons Cafe
9 January 2020
The Titan: BYSO and Academy concert now open for booking. BYSO students and Academy students will be joining forces for a grand concert at The Hexagon on Monday 17 February 2020. The Academy students will play selections from Harry Potter and How to Train your Dragon. BYSO will perform the Titan – the first symphony by Gustav Mahler, conducted by Jonathan Burnett. Tickets are available from What’s On Reading by clicking here.
The Titan
7 January 2020
Easter Grade 5 Theory course now open for booking. Our popular Grade 5 Music Theory course for ABRSM is back for Easter 2020. This intensive three-day course will teach students everything they need to know to pass the exam. Over 50% of the participants of our last course gained a Distinction and we’ve received excellent feedback from students and parents. The course will take place Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 April 2020 at Reading Music Centre. For full details and to register, please click here.
Grade 5 Theory
6 January 2020
Harry the Piano Improvisation Workshops and Concert now open for booking. The extraordinary talent and breathtaking creativity of Harry the Piano have earned him a reputation as one of the most gifted improvising pianists in the world. Harry will be leading a set of workshops on improvising for pianists of Grade 3 and above on Sunday 19 January 2020, followed by a concert to showcase his skills. The workshop and concert will be free to Piano Academy students. For full details and to register, please click here.
Harry the Piano
4 December 2019
Congratulations to Maestros students who have got places in NYO. Congratulations to four Berkshire Maestros students who have got places in National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain! Two of our French horn students and two of our bassoon students will be part of NYO for 2020. Getting into the leading youth orchestra in the country is a huge accolade and is testament to their hard work and dedication to their instrument - we are absolutely delighted for them and their teachers! See the full NYO line up here.
NYO congratulations
16 October 2019
Arts Council England pledge £9,137 for our crowdfunding project. Having received a £900 pledge for our crowdfunding project Mini Maestros in the Community from Newbury Music Centre Parents and Friends Association, we have achieved the magic milestone of 15% funding. This triggers Arts Council England to submit their pledge of 50% of the required project funding, taking us to a huge 69% of funding for the project! Thank you to ACE. We have until 1 December to ahieve the remaining 31% of funding to ensure the project takes place, so please keep pledging here. Thank you
ACE thank you
3 October 2019
Max Maestro has had a makeover! Our favourite music mascot Max Maestro for Berkshire Mini Maestros has a brand new look. He has grown his fur and has had an outfit change - we love his new style! Hop on over to the Mini Maestros page here to see more of the new look Max. Our thanks go to our colleague Jess Wilkins for her artwork to complete his re-styling.
16 September 2019
Welcome to our new CEO Dawn Wren. Today we are delighted to welcome our new CEO Dawn Wren to the Maestros family. Dawn comes to us with years of leadership experience at Kingston Music Service and is keen to build on our existing successes and high quality standards of musical education here in Berkshire. Read more here about what Dawn had to say about beginning work with us when she spoke to us about her appointment.
Dawn Wren
10 September 2019
Key Dates for your Diary for 2019-20. We are pleased to be able to share with you key dates to go into your diary for the academic year 2019-20. Please click here for a full list of all our courses, junior music festivals, county group concerts and Soundstage gigs that we will be running this year. Nearer the date of each event, full details will be available either on our website or on our online ticket office here. Please keep an eye on our website, e-mail communications and social media for announcements.
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Berkshire Maestros joins forces with Whole Step CIC to provide increased opportunities for music therapy across Berkshire

Berkshire Maestros, the lead organisation of the Berkshire Music Hub, announces a partnership with Whole Step CIC, leading providers of therapeutic music provision in Berkshire, to actively promote and develop new opportunities to provide music therapy as a tool for emotional wellbeing and sensory exploration. The service is on offer for all children and adults in the area.

As well as Berkshire Maestros acting as a referral service to Whole Step CIC, they will also be letting out space in their headquarters in Reading to support daytime music therapy sessions for adults in the local community. This partnership will raise the profile of music therapy in Berkshire and in turn, many more people will have access to this form of creative therapy.

Rima Jakubauskas (Lead Therapist at Whole Step CIC)
We are looking forward to this new partnership. Berkshire Maestros is a leading music education provider in the county, and they share our belief that music can develop confidence, self-esteem, and enables children and young people to achieve their potential. Our music therapy and community music services will enable more local people to benefit from making music.

Sam Wyne (Business Development and Engagement Manager at Berkshire Maestros)
I am delighted that Berkshire Maestros is entering into this partnership with Whole Step CIC. We have wanted to be able to offer music therapy to the county for some time but it’s a particularly niche provision. It takes many years of training to become a music therapist and we are very pleased that we can now refer enquires of this nature to Rima and our friends at Whole Step CIC. Music should be accessible to all young people and adults and we believe that music has the capability to change lives.



Whole Step



Whole Step Family

Arts Council England announces further Music Hub funding for 2020-21

As lead organisation of the Berkshire Music Hub, Berkshire Maestros is delighted that Arts Council England has secured a further year of Music Hub funding for 2020-21.

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that England’s music education hubs will receive funding for the 2020-21 financial year, putting an end to speculation that the government may not renew the annual funding that hubs have received since their formation in September 2012. In addition, the DfE has allocated an additional £265,000 to supplement the current financial year’s funding.

The announcement means that for the current year, the previously agreed hub funding settlement of £75,840,000 will rise to £76,105,000 once the £265,000 has been added. For 2020-21, a funding settlement of £76,960,000 will be allocated – but this will be supplemented by approximately £2m (a figure that will be clarified at a later date) to cover increased employers’ pension contributions. This puts hub funding for 2020-21 at somewhere approaching £79m. As usual, the amount received by each hub will be calculated by Arts Council England based on pupil numbers.

Music Hub funding is of vital importance to the service that we at Berkshire Maestros provide through schools, music centres and events where we work in partnership with other organisations (such as the Junior Music Festivals).

Berkshire Maestros CEO Dawn Wren said: "I am delighted with today’s funding announcement meaning that we can continue to ensure children and young people in Berkshire can access outstanding music provision!"

Steve Christmas, Director of Hub Development at Berkshire Maestros, said "The confirmation of the continuation of this funding into the next academic year is of excellent news for the young musicians of Berkshire."


Berkshire Music Hub

Berkshire Mini Maestros heading for local communities

31 October 2019

Berkshire Maestros launches Mini Maestros in the Community, an ambitious crowdfunding appeal to deliver high-quality music experiences for 300 babies and toddlers in 10 new locations across Berkshire.

The music education charity is seeking over £17,000 from individuals and local businesses to deliver baby and toddler sessions free of charge across January to March 2020. The appeal has already received over £12,000 in donations, including pledges from over 70 individuals, £9,000 from Arts Council England as part of the 'Our Music Crowd' movement and major contributions from a local IT firm, Newbury and Windsor Music Centre Parents and Friends Associations and Barnes Coaches.

Bringing high quality music-making direct to local communities across Berkshire, Mini Maestros in the Community will enable families to nurture a love of music for life. Children and their grown-ups sing fun action songs, learn through a wide range of resources, play inspiring percussion instruments and move with colourful scarfs.

Dawn Wren, CEO Berkshire Maestros:
This is one of the biggest and most ambitious projects that Berkshire Maestros has undertaken in recent years but one which is significant to parents and their children within the community. Music-making should start from birth and we hope that this opportunity will supply many parents with an outlet to immerse their children in a weekly music session and provide the foundations for a life-long love of music. The finishing line for our campaign is now in sight and we need the county’s support to help us achieve our goal!

Mrs M, parent in Crowthorne:
I’ve always enjoyed music growing up, and it’s important to me that my children have the opportunity to have fun with music. I am delighted that Berkshire Maestros is offering this fantastic initiative and that there is an opportunity in the community for my son to enjoy the joys of music from such a young age in a unique setting. We are excited to begin these classes in the new year.

If you would like to make a pledge to the appeal, you can do so online here



Berkshire Young Singer

News Archive

Berkshire Young Musician of the Year and Young Singer of the Year 2020 Competition Announced – 31 July 2019

New CEO for Maestros – 18 July 2019

Berkshire Young Musician of the Year 2019 Winners Announced – 20 March 2019

Funding leads the way to musical success for young people across Berkshire – 25 February 2019

Semi-Finals of the Berkshire Young Musician of the Year 2019 Strings Competition – 21 January 2019

More than 1800 Berkshire children to perform at Royal Albert Hall spectacular – 30 October 2018

Local Youth Choir in the Spotlight at Royal Albert Hall for the premiere of The Great War Symphony – 11 October 2018

Berkshire Maestros student achieves national success – 26 September 2018

Berkshire Maestros to Relocate its Caversham Music Centre to Queen Anne's School18 June 2018

Berkshire Maestros to Relocate its Bracknell Music Centre to Ranelagh School – 16 April 2018

Berkshire County Youth Choirs Perform at 'The Proms' – 23 July 2017

Arts Council praise for the Berkshire Music Education Hub – 19 December 2016

Berkshire county young music ensembles outstanding tour to China – 4 August 2016

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