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BBC invites creatives and musicians to Open Music training scheme

Composer Nitin Sawhney and a group of stars of BBC music and radio have unveiled a new training programme called Open Music created by the BBC for musicians and other creative people from across the UK

The Open Music scheme offers paid training and development to 30 applicants across the fields of making music, presenting, radio and event production and sound recording and engineering. The training includes masterclasses, mentoring, training sessions and hands-on experience, including the opportunity to work with the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Proms. The participants will have creative input to delivering and, for some, performing in a concert at the 2022 Proms festival.

As Ambassador to the project, Sawhney said, ‘I’m very excited to be involved in a programme that will bring more diversity and inclusion to radio and music, hopefully creating an unforgettable experience for all involved.’

‘I am pleased to see the Proms continuing to embrace an open and outward-looking view with this refreshing new scheme. The Proms at its best is life-affirming and fires up creative imagination like no other musical series.’

His co-Ambassador, Mary Anne Hobbs added, ‘It’s always exciting to imagine a BBC Prom in a different way. It’s what I did with Nils Frahm and ‘A Winged Victory For The Sullen’ in 2015. This time, we’ll be collaborating with a diverse group of participants who will bring their own creative agenda, and form part of the whole eco-system of performers, technicians and broadcasters that come together to deliver a Prom.’

Each successful applicant to Open Music will receive a bespoke programme of training and development designed around their own areas of interest, along with at least 12 paid days of work spread across the year. Each will be assigned a matched mentor at the BBC from her or his chosen discipline, including BBC presenters, production staff and sound engineers working on some of the biggest events at the BBC, and BBC Concert Orchestra musicians for those taking the music pathway.

Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey said, ‘Open Music is an important way to engage people of all classes and backgrounds and to help them to develop their talents. It’s not just a good thing to do, it is a real investment in the future of music and radio. At BBC Radio 3, the Orchestras and Choirs and the BBC Proms, we want to broaden and deepen the music we play, the people who play it, the audiences we play it for and the creative culture that underpins all of our work. Creativity from people with different backgrounds, who bring different ideas through such initiatives can help us with this. The end result will be even better content for our audiences.’

Participants must be over 18 by the start date of 6 September and the BBC is particularly interested in Black, Asian and ethnically diverse applicants. No qualifications are necessary, but applicants should have experience of group music-making or collaborating with musicians. The scheme is not restricted to orchestral players. It is open to all genres. Applicants can be instrumentalists, mixed media artists, composers, writers or vocal performers.

Applications for the scheme are open until 8 July 2021 on the BBC careers website. Travelling costs will be covered for those outside London.