“Love People” – 1000 children, 15 different countries, singing for peace and tolerance worldwide

MUSICIANS WITHOUT BORDERS

“If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.”Jimi Hendrix

Musicians without Borders uses the power of music to bridge divides, connect communities, and heal the wounds of war.

Our long-term commitment allows our participants the time to develop skills and talents, process grief and loss, and build bridges of reconciliation in societies divided by recent or ongoing conflict. Our professional trainers are specialized in running community music projects with people dealing with trauma, fear and isolation as a result of war and conflict.

We work closely with local musicians and organizations to build sustainable projects in response to local needs. From successful projects we develop models, methodologies and trainings to adapt for other regions.

Musicians without Borders is building a global network of musicians and music lovers who support our work with their time, energy, expertise and financial donations.

WHY MUSIC?

“You may be poor, you may only have a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope.”•• Nelson Mandela

Where war has raged, people need everything to return to life: food, water, shelter, clothing, medicine. But more than anything, people need hope. To reconcile, people need empathy. To heal, people need connection and community.

  • Music creates empathy, builds connection and gives hope.
  • Music crosses ethnic divides and provides neutral space to meet through shared talents and passions.
  • Community music-making is a direct and accessible tool for connecting people and engaging and mobilizing communities.
  • From drum circles to choirs to rock bands, music can be practiced by any person at her/his own level regardless of musical skills, whether in small groups or in a setting of hundreds or even thousands of people.
PROJECTS & PROGRAMS

Mitrovica Rock School – In post-war Kosovo, aspiring young rock stars meet across divides at the Mitrovica Rock School, where it’s all about the music.

Palestine Community Music – Training youth and young professionals to bring music to marginalized children in West Bank refugee camps, villages, schools, hospitals and orphanages.

Rwanda Youth Music – Introducing music therapy, training and community music activities to empower youth and children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Community Music & Health (Uganda) – Training youth leaders to use music to address the effects of HIV in young people.

Music Bridge – Bridging divides in Northern Ireland with community music training and activities.

Welcome Notes (The Netherlands) – Bringing comfort, solidarity and hope to war refugees through music.

Soy Música (El Salvador) – Together with Salvadoran music teachers and community leaders, we share tools to provide at-risk children with experiences of safety, inclusion, creativity and joy.

SPH Band Contest – Your Band, Your Gig

OVERVIEW

The SPH Band Contest is the biggest band contest for musicians and artists in Europe and North America. The SPH network includes more than 1,500 participating bands and 500 concerts every year. SPH Band Contest and its live platforms are available in Germany, the United States, UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We provide an international network for all our participating artists.

SPH Band Contest takes place in more than 100 cities all over the world. We are supported by the national and international music industry and corresponding associations who see our concept as long-term and truly supportive for young musicians. That’s why many well-known companies are partners of our SPH Band Contest.

Around the globe, more than 200 young individuals are active and involved in the organization of the SPH Band Contest while all being dedicated musicians. The SPH Band Contest is (and will always be) a platform from musicians for musicians!

HISTORY

When we founded our SPH Band Contest we did this especially due to the increasing dissatisfaction concerning the manners and opportunities at established contests. We simply wanted to build an alternative for bands and help them to play live gigs. From the beginning onwards, it was clear to us that we wanted to change many aspects and offer much more to our bands. For us, our musicians and bands are always the main focus. Together with you, we want to create fascinating concerts and break the wall between organizers and bands. All around the globe.

PHILOSOPHY

For us it is very important to stop the exploitation of artists. That’s why we are not charging the bands for anything. There is no obligation to sell any amount of tickets. Of course we need to run our organization in a financially healthy manner in order to still exist next year, but we are trying to give a big part back to you! It is essential that we as organizers of the contest are on the same side with our musicians.

VALUES

Therefore, values such as community spirit, cooperativeness, friendship and the strive for a unified goal, namely the long-term development of young musicians and memorable concerts, are our main focus. This is supported by the extensive number of participating bands. We are very proud of the strong appreciation and solidarity between our SPH bands.

Cheeky Promo Arts festival

London based music promoter Cheeky Promo is organising an arts festival to raise money for Nordoff Robbins & London’s Air Ambulance.

 

Nordoff Robbins is the UK’s leading private provider of music therapy services. Our trained network of music therapists work with people of all ages and with a range of conditions. We deliver thousands of music therapy sessions per year in care homes, day centres, hospitals, schools & our own centres. We are also developing a range of other music & health projects aimed at bringing music to more & more people in local communities.

“I’m involved with music because as a child it was not only a positive outlet but a necessary one, an imperative one, as it was a way for me to connect to others.  Music is quite literally my first language. When I was young (3 or 4), I was not talking so had speech therapy. That didn’t have much impact so I moved to music therapy.  Music therapy helped, and music still helps me, to communicate and connect with others, to express / be myself, to be part of the world.”

Rupert Cheek

In late September 2011, Rupert was involved in a road accident, and was treated by the staff of the London’s Air Ambulance.

“My treatment (broken jaw, dental ‘bridge’ fell out 10 times, bone taken from my right hip and put in my lower jaw to enable implants) was finally completed in April 2015. I arrived at a place where I’m thankful it wasn’t so much worse, and that I’m still here to share my passion for music with the world; the accident showed, reminded me that I HAVE TO!

 I was happy to go back to the Royal London Hospital (the helipad is on the top of it) and thank them some years later (see attached photo of me and one of the doctors who helped me). “

… The Service recently acquired a 2nd helicopter so it could more effectively service the whole of London. Whilst the doctors are funded by the NHS, the helicopter itself is run by the charity.

For more information about this amazing event, visit Cheeky Promo at Kickstarter

 

 

Sing for Peace with One Day One Choir to make a difference in your world.

Do you know that when we sing together our hearts start to beat at the same tempo, and that singing together bonds us more quickly and more positively than any other group activity?  It also improves our health, lifts our spirits, improves our memory and can be done by anyone of any age, ability, faith or location.

These and other amazing and socially and scientifically proven facts are just some of the inspirations behind the global choral peace project One Day One Choir which uses the power of singing to help unite people in their communities through singing for peace.  Choir of course simply means ‘a group of people who sing together’ and is, as Richard Morrison said in his Times article about the project, ‘ the literal embodiment of people living in harmony.’  So what better way to use our voices.

Created in 2013 from a desire to do something in response to increasing conflict around the world, this inspiring, accessible, inclusive and free initiative offers a platform for anyone, anywhere to unite with others in their community, to sing for unity and peace on World Peace Day (Sept 21st).

A concert, a dedication of something already in place, a school assembly a community sing along, chanting at your mediation group or in a local temple, choral evensong, a rousing flashmob or one song sung with friends … whatever works for you is the way to take part as everyone is invited and all are welcome to take part in whichever way suits best.

Since it began, the project has managed to mobilise around a million people in 55 countries, not bad for something run for free from a spare room.  But then again, who wouldn’t want to use their voice to sing for peace and make a difference wherever they are!  And now the project wants you to sign up and join in too please, to add your voices to this growing ‘global choir for peace’, and to help them reach out to others by by spreading the word.

‘WOW, this is so inspiring!  Count us in.  CEO of Sing Up

An amazing array of groups including schools, cathedrals (30+), offices, prisons, temples, care homes, concert halls and community and classical choirs have already joined in, as have some well known supporters from the music, education, media and peace world.  And, as the project is truly inclusive, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are – or what you sing for that matter – as long as it is suitable and appropriate for peace and unity!  And if you’re not sure what to sing, there are free songs available on the website so help yourselves and try them out.

The project is particularly perfect for schools as not only does it tick lots of educational boxes, but the schools and teachers who have joined in already find it a great start to the new term and love the opportunities it affords for them to talk about peace, of all kinds, and to link with other schools or invite parents and friends in to sing along with them.  Many have joined with other schools and held inspiring assemblies or lessons around peace – some have even made films.

We couldn’t believe the positive and powerful impact our short peace assembly had on pupils and the school; the children talked about it for weeks. Last year we sent music to our partner school in Malawi so they could join in with us.  It was so inspiring; not only did 500 pupils sing there but the entire village came out and sang too!
 Val Riziotis, Cheam Common Infants’ School, Surrey
We love One Day One Choir, engaging with you has united our global school group more than any project we’ve ever done.”  Rachel White-Hunt, BIS Schools Group, Chicago
‘We’re so excited by this project that we’re signing up all 700 of our schools in Pakistan’  CEO – Care Foundation.
With 3 and a half weeks still to go until Peace Day, One Day One Choir (or ODOC as they are known for short) are still hoping that thousands more people will engage with them this year and sign up and take part.  With peace and unity needed in our world more than ever before, what better way to help ourselves and others by taking a small tuneful singing step towards that.  So please, add your voices, sign up (so they know you are joining in and can add you to their world map) and sing with others in your community for unity and peace.
  ‘DO THIS – Sing for peace with One Day One Choir’ – The Mayor of London
Please do, sign up and sing – and spread the word to others too  
Facebook and Twitter at OneDayOneChoir #onedayonechoir
‘What a brilliant and inspiring idea.  I urge anyone who loves their singing to join in and be a part of this mighty Chorus of Goodwill across the globe; making the unifying voice of song a unifying voice for peace.’  
Howard Goodall CBE – EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer and broadcaster.
For further information or to talk to the project director – please call Jane Hanson FRSA on 07932 411623

The UK’s first BAME Orchestra at the Proms




Hailed by critics as ‘fresh’ and ‘brilliant’, the UK’s first majority BAME orchestra Chineke! makes its Proms debut in a programme including works by Pulitzer Prize-winning George Walker and young British composer Hannah Kendall, whose The Spark Catchers takes inspiration from the urgent energy of Lemn Sissay’s poem of the same name.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, soprano Jeanine De Bique and conductor Kevin John Edusei all make their Proms debut here.

There will be no interval

Please note that this event contains an update to the concert programme from that in BBC Proms 2017 Festival Guide

Broadcast on BBC Four, 8 September

Image: Kevin John Edusei © Marco Borggreve

Prom 62: Chineke!
22:15 Wed 30 Aug 2017 Royal Albert Hall

Tickets for this Event

Booking fee information

Seats £7.50 to £25 (plus booking fee)



The Chineke! Foundation was established in 2015 to provide career opportunities to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s motto is: ‘Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music’. The organisation aims to be a catalyst for change, realising existing diversity targets within the industry by increasing the representation of BME musicians in British and European orchestras.

 

The Foundation’s flagship ensemble, the Chineke! Orchestra, is comprised of exceptional musicians from across the continent brought together multiple times per year. As Europe’s first majority-BME orchestra, the Chineke! Orchestra performs a mixture of standard orchestral repertoire along with the works of BME composers both past and present.

 

Chineke! is the brainchild of Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, who has this say about the project: ‘My aim is to create a space where BME musicians can walk on stage and know that they belong, in every sense of the word. If even one BME child feels that their colour is getting in the way of their musical ambitions, then I hope to inspire them, give them a platform, and show them that music, of whatever kind, is for all people.’

Many cultural organisations such as the BBC, Association of British Orchestras, Royal Philharmionic Society and Arts Council England agree with this sentiment, and have supported Chineke! After its launch concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in September of 2015, the Chineke! Orchestra was appointed as an Associate Orchestra of the Southbank Centre, and returned there to perform in September of 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall. After a sold-out debut at St George’s Bristol in April 2017, the Chineke! Orchestra has an exciting series of concerts lined up for the coming year, including appearances at the Brighton, Cheltenham and Salisbury Festivals, a return to the Royal Festival Hall, overseas tours to Ghent and Rotterdam, and an engagement at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.




MusAid-Empowering Musicians Around the World





The MusAid Fellowship Program from Emanuele Michetti on Vimeo.

MusAid connects musicians across the globe through educational exchanges designed to inspire individual and community transformation.

Through the MusAid Fellowship, musicians have the unique opportunity to teach, perform and develop their artistic leadership ability at socially driven music programs around the world. Through our innovative and immersive program, MusAid seeks to empower a new generation of globally and socially aware musicians.

ABOUT

MusAid is a 501(c)3 non-profit that connects musicians across the globe through educational exchanges designed to inspire individual and community transformation.

Through the MusAid Fellowship, musicians have the unique opportunity to teach, perform and develop their teaching ability at socially driven music programs around the world during two-week long summer workshops. Through our innovative and immersive program, MusAid seeks to inspire a new generation of socially and globally aware musicians.  Alongside empowering the Fellows that attend our workshops, MusAid tailors each summer workshop to the specific needs of our partner schools in order to provide them with the tools and knowledge necessary for their growth and self-sustainability.

HISTORY

Founded in 2008, MusAid has supported music schools and orchestras in Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Burma, Haiti, Belize, El Salvador, Bolivia and the Philippines with donated instruments and volunteer teacher training workshops through the MusAid Fellowship.

WHY MUSAID

The impetus to begin MusAid arose from the founder, Kevin Schaffter, who while living and studying music in Asia, saw the struggle and difficulties that many musicians face in various parts of the world from having poor access to proper educational opportunities and music instruction.

It is heart wrenching to witness the dreams and aspirations of musicians crushed by the lack of the most basic materials necessary to pursue their art. Our vision is one where artists from any cultural or financial background should be granted the opportunity to share their unique artistic voices with their community. In this world of materialistic ideals it is too often forgotten that the greatest contributions to art come from within each individual and collectively, through the international language of music, reveal the simple and beautiful similarity between all human beings.

Arts are more crucial now than ever before. Globalization has shrunk the world, increasing the need to preserve cultural diversity and identity. The arts, including music, have always been an integral part of every society and are a pure reflection of the creativity, the search for beauty, and the spirit common in all of us. Music has an immense power to inspire, to heal, touch hearts and emotions, and to uplift us. It allows humanity to set physical and political differences aside, and to work in harmony to produce something universally appreciated.

Click for more info




The dichotomy of music

Guest writer Mandy Edwards

With another reported suicide of a member of a high profile band, I can’t help but feel sad. Not only for the fans of Linkin Park and Soundgarden, but for the music industry as a whole. I massage backstage at high profile gigs and I am reminded of a gig I worked at a few years ago. One that left me feeling unclean, shocked and perturbed. It’s what started a hiatus from that world, because it was a stark lesson of how dark it could go.

They say never meet your idols. You soon realise the ones that ‘make it’ are still stumbling, confused incomplete humans like the rest of us. Trying to find a way to be whole or find some semblance of home or comfort. For many musicians, I think music can be therapy. A way to exorcise the demons, make sense of them, deconstruct them. But I find some musicians never find healing.

I recently had my first guitar lesson after being hypnotised watching Haim rock out on stage at Glastonbury. It made me feel I wanted to ‘be’ them. I can understand the tacit nature of music. How it can speak to you. How it can be addictive. How it can be a natural high. Maybe that’s why so many musicians turn to drugs. To recreate the high they have on stage. Even just watching the 3 guitarists that make up Haim made me feel like I was on some other planet. I can only imagine the magnitude they felt being up there and seeing adoring fans totally rocking out and vibing on their music. What a let down it must be to head onto a tour bus, or go for a Big Mac at Mcdonalds afterwards and thinking ‘people adored me 20mins ago!’ It’s one rocky bump back down to earth.

It’s taken a while for me to love music again, simply because I massaged at a gig of someone I was a fan of. Don’t get my wrong, they weren’t someone I had idolised as a teenager. It didn’t run that deep and thank god it didn’t. Before I even arrived I had pages and pages and pages of Do’s and Don’t’s –  I wasn’t allowed to talk to them even. Of course this musician will have to remain nameless, but all I can say is, they were one of the high contenders. You couldn’t get much bigger in stardom and fame at the time.

I was positioned in a dressing room opposite Costume. My backstage pass was only for that small stretch of corridor. I could hear whispers from one security guard to another. Serious conversations, stressful conversations and I could see the panic. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife. Everyone ran around covering cameras backstage, at the stars request.

All of a sudden someone from costume came in with a hanger in hand. She threw it across the room and shouted

‘what a bitch!’

This woman was almost in tears. Tears of anger and frustration. Clearly she was talking about ‘the boss’ and clearly you now know it’s a woman we are talking about.

Then, I bizarrely bumped into a local GP.  He had been given instructions to go to the Artists hotel room. The fact they were due on stage within the hour didn’t seem to matter. He had to examine the Artist whilst she was asleep, administer an injection, which, of course I had no business knowing exactly what kind of injection, due to confidential reasons. He too wasn’t allowed to talk to her. He seem white as a ghost, almost shell shocked. He said ‘I am never doing that again.’

I was a good girl and stayed in my little corridor, but when it was time for the Artist to go on stage I watched from my vantage point to see if I could see them walk onstage. I did see her. She was walking with her entourage of dancers. All I could hear was her telling her dancers the concoction of drugs she was on. She looked back at her dancers and told them clear as day. She didn’t even whisper. Then she looked me in the eye defiantly. It was almost a glare as if to say ‘how dare you look at me! Did you not get the brief? – it was weird to say the least.

Nothing about that night was joyful, creative, inspiring. It felt dark to a point I had to jump in the shower as I got home and I shuddered. It felt like I was witnessing another Amy Winehouse. It felt tragic and it shattered the illusion.

I think that’s what musicians are. An illusion. To create an illusion. To elevate you. To inspire you. Sometimes they may give so much, they are left empty themselves. Each gig chipping away at them, their soul, their identity. A human shaped outline on the stage, like that of a crime scene. It could easily lead to existential crisis. Who am I really? I can imagine feeling like you are in some sort of warped reality. Living up to what people ‘think’ you are, to the point you lose who you really are.

Maybe they felt empty to start with and the adulation was a way to fill them up. To make them whole. Maybe drugs are a way to get up in front of thousands of people and be unwaveringly brave. Maybe performing day in day out and living up to expectations is too hard to bear. Maybe it’s true that all artists are a little tortured. The scared and vulnerable child inside wanting be liked. Hell, even my guitar teacher told me within 30mins he was taken in by a paedophile ring at aged 6 and music saved him. Interestingly enough he played with Amy Winehouse and mirroringly he called her a bitch too. Full of ego. Maybe when you have talent, you can get to the position where ego just runs away with itself. Where you turn into a monster. You are the spiritual saviour for many, whilst you destroy yourself.

I don’t know the story of Chester Bennington or Chris Cornell’s suicide. I didn’t know them personally. I don’t know why they wanted to escape, but all I know is, I want to find the light in the darkness. I want to create. But I don’t want it to be what makes me whole. I don’t want to get sucked into this tantalising power. I want to be grounded and not driven by ego. Is that what gets us all in the end? Ego. This illusion that we are better, special whilst everyone is down ‘there’. I don’t want to look down, but elevate myself to a higher consciousness, whilst also elevating others. Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe the answer is different for everyone. Maybe we just need to realise the interconnected nature of it all. That we aren’t alone. Demons and all. Isn’t that what music is about after all. To connect us. Maybe we just need to reach out more.

Mandy is a writer, traveller and massage therapist for the music and film industry. Visit Mandy’s regular blog here.

If you have a story to share, send it to us: rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk

The Proms 2017 season is here!

What’s On

Ariana Grande’s Emotional ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ in Manchester

Benefit concert raises over $10 million for victims of terror attack

Ariana Grande closed out her One Love Manchester benefit concert with an emotional rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Ariana Grande closed out her One Love Manchester benefit concert with an emotional rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a tribute to the 22 people killed in the terror attack in the British city less than two weeks ago.

Near the end of the song, Grande became overcome with emotion and had to stop the performance before the cheers of the crowd powered her toward the finale of The Wizard of Oz classic.

Grande was a fixture throughout the three-hour concert, performing alongside Cyrus, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Mac Miller, Victoria Monet in addition to playing her own hits.

According to the Red Cross U.K., the benefit concert raised over $9 million. “Well, the fantastic news is we’ve already raised around 7 million pounds [$9 million],” chief executive Mike Adamson told the Associated Press. “And we expect to raise another one and half million pounds from ticket sales tonight and then further funding from the TV rights and merchandising. So, we’re really looking to appeal that’s going to move towards 10 million pounds.”

The all-star One Love Manchester concert’s second-to-last song featured many of the artists involved – Ariana Grande, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams and more – joining Grande onstage for “One Last Time,” with the artists clapping and cheering along to the My Everything song: