Bromley Youth Music Trust
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Bromley Youth Music Trust   |   Where Music Changes Lives

The BYMT Blog

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The BYMT Blog

27 November 2017

BYMT wins the prestigious Will Michael Diploma Award for Jazz education

Written by LADW and Will Michael Trust



TRINITY LABAN CONSERVATOIRE hosted this year’s Will Michael Jazz Education Awards on 22 November. Retiring Awards Panel chair, Ivor Widdison paid tribute to outstanding commitments to jazz education demonstrated by the following music education hubs and music services all of whom were awarded Diplomas








And, exceptionally, an individual award was made to Dan Mar-Molinero for his work in the Southern region.

The achievements of Camden and Kingston upon Thames were also formally commended.

The occasion was made doubly special by a scintillating performance by the Trinity Laban Contemporary Jazz Ensemble under Mark Lockheart of compositions by UK composers.


The Awards, which are supported by the Musicians’ Company, matter because they do two things. They are the only means of according national recognition to those Hubs, Music Services and Education Authorities which demonstrate an outstanding commitment to jazz education.  And secondly, they acknowledge the work of those field practitioners who are actually delivering jazz education and in many cases helping to combat the widespread jazz phobia among classroom music teachers and instrumental tutors.

The Awards Panel comprises Andrea Vicari, Dr Catherine Tackley, Bill Martin, Richard Michael and Ivor Widdison.


written by the Awards Panel chair, Ivor Widdison



Once again the Awards were formally presented by LESLIE EAST, chair of the Jazz Committee of the Musicians’ Company. We are grateful for the support of the Company and indeed to Trinity Laban Conservatoire for hosting this year’s event and making it possible for the Trinity Laban Contemporary Jazz Ensemble under director Mark Lockheart to perform a scintillating programme of music by UK composers as part of our celebrations.

         This is the 11th year we have made these Awards. Sad to say it is the first time we have not received any submissions from Scotland. One thing which hasn’t changed over the years is the extent to which successful jazz education within a Hub or music service depends on the dedication, industry and inspiration of a few individuals. One of our Awards this year recognises the achievements of one such!

         One of the more pleasing features of this year’s submissions is the evidence of collaboration between Hubs and music services in the South Yorkshire region, between Cumbria and Lancashire, and between Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

         My Awards Panel colleagues (Andrea Vicari, Dr Catherine Tackley, Bill Martin and Richard Michael) and I continue to dedicate this Awards scheme to the memory of Will Michael who died tragically early in 2008.  Will was a respected and highly successful educator on both local and national stages.


Our citations follow:

BROMLEY A little over two years ago music education in Bromley had to fight for its life. This submission is testament to the belief of all those who successfully saved the day in the very real value of music education. The Youth Music Trust, the lead Hub partner, created the jazz education department in September 2016. Remarkably, jazz education seems to be at the heart of the overall provision. It is also set in an arts environment which celebrates all genres of music and dance. The Trust’s Jazz School, lead by Buster Birch, holds fortnightly sessions of two groups separated according to experience and ability and cover ear training, improvisation, rhythmic skills, harmony, jazz vocabulary all with a strong emphasis on performance opportunities. Many of the secondary schools in Bromley have big bands whose work is overseen by the Jazz School. We hope that the School will soon be in a position to contribute actively to schools’ music curriculum and provide CPD services on the lines of those organised in connection with the new gospel singing project, which involves adults and young people. Future Trust plans include a series of master classes in the New Year and for jazz singing to be developed as part of Jazz School provision.


Supported using public funding by Department for Education and Arts Council England
London Borough of Bromley

Bromley Youth Music Trust
Bromley Youth Music Centre
Southborough Lane

020 8467 1566

Registered Charity No. 1031590