Theatr Clwyd has adopted Flintshire Music Service in a move that will protect the future of youth music in Flintshire and the music lessons provided to over 2,500 young people. The move will secure and create jobs for artists in this vital education service through the sharing of resources and a remodelled business plan. Since it was formed in 1996, the Music Service has delivered over 650,000 music lessons, providing over 700 free and subsidised music lessons around the county every week to young people ages 6 to 19.
The transfer of the Music Service to Theatr Clwyd brings together two pillars of arts delivery and creative excellence in Flintshire, helping to protect jobs and safeguard creativity for young people as the County Council comes under increasing financial pressure. Following two years of negotiations, the newly named Theatr Clwyd Music Service has now relocated to Theatr Clwyd, sharing offices and resources as well as drawing upon the theatre’s making, production and communications team. This vital move will enable music in Flintshire to thrive against a national background of music services around Wales being cut or severely reduced.
Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd’s Executive Director, said, “The Music Service joining Theatr Clwyd is vital to the survival of music education in Flintshire. The skills that learning music give are important in the development of creativity, resilience, and good mental health in young people. Together we can ensure that every child, regardless of their circumstances, has the opportunity to access music. Alongside this, during such challenging times for freelance artists, this move ensures we are creating even more core jobs for artists at Theatr Clwyd and ensures we champion an employed model, rather than the freelance/zero hour approach being instigated in other music services across Wales and the UK”
Claire Homard, Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer Education and Youth added, “Theatr Clwyd is one of our county’s major success stories. In this challenging time bringing together musical and theatrical arts provision makes both stronger, broadening and enhancing access to the arts for everyone.”
The Music Service has a long association with Theatr Clwyd, from annual concerts with 650 young people performing on the theatre’s main stage, delivering Christmas concerts at Mold’s St Mary’s Church and, more recently, a new health and wellbeing project, Singing For The Soul, in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
Recent individual success stories include former student Tom Blomfield who joined the Philharmonia as principle oboe player, Conal Bembridge who has recently joined Belgium’s acclaimed Opera Antwerp and harpist Bethan Griffiths who graduated from the Royal College of Music winning the prestigious Queen Mother Rosebowl.