10 Jun 2019

A Big Celebration…

Living in some of the most beautiful areas our country provides sometimes means we miss out on the best music events going, with cities being ‘where it’s at’, but we, Make Music Day and Vicky Bates are on a mission to change that!

Taking up the challenge of going #Rural and spreading the joy, community and vibrancy of music across their county is the Durham Music Service! We spoke to Vicky Bates, deputy head of Durham Music Service all about their BIG plans for Make Music Day UK, and how they are going #Rural on Friday 21 June.

Durham Music Service are the lead Partner of Durham and Darlington Music Education Hub, and this year for make music day they are doing ‘The Big Play’, a day where celebrating music is what it’s all about!

‘It started out as a nice idea to share music amongst our different groups and schools and it has just grown and grown! Being part of Make Music Day is the opportunity to celebrate music making, anything goes, formal, informal, large or small scale, performances from children in an assembly to brass band dawn chorus calls!’


Vicky and her team have embraced the ethos behind Make Music Day and are inviting all of Durham and Darlington to join them in their ‘Big Play Day’ across the county. Taking place in numerous areas to celebrate the variety of the landscape. A truly inspiring show of how the simple idea of celebrating and sharing music making can spread from the few to a whopping 11500 participants and counting!

Events will be taking place all day and are kicking off with a bang with a rousing Brass Band dawn chorus call in the Darlington Town Square! Leading into performances across school assemblies, including some singing, string groups and even a few schools putting on their own music festivals, with home baked goodies, and music themed fancy dress. There will even be a huge Battle of the Bands taking place at the Gala Theatre Stand where over 100 young performers of all abilities will be participating – it is set to be a musical explosion!


“It’s not about a finished product, it’s about the fact that music goes on, and should be celebrated.”

Vicky explained that living in their rural county, it can be hard as a music hub or service to help provide musical opportunities for everyone to access and to offer the opportunities to share in these large scale events. It may be taken for granted by some, to just walk to a performance, or even to get to a rehearsal, but the infrastructure of being in a rural community means that it is so spread out, those simple things are so much more complicated.

“People’s experience isn’t as being part of something big and depending on where you live not everyone can take part or attend the big performances.”

But Make Music Day UK, and the energetic team at the Durham and Darlington Music Service are changing that! It has been a fantastic effort from Vicky, the Music Service, Hub team and schools to create such a county wide celebration. Focusing on solutions with schools and groups in the area who face multiple challenges to think creatively in addressing the rural issues faced when participating in an event of this scale.

“This is another way of enabling every single child access to music in these areas, and to celebrate their achievements big and small, offering a bigger picture and connection to a world-wide event”

They have some fantastic music resources available to help everyone get involved at home as well as in groups, you can check those out here: https://www.durhammusic.org.uk/big-play-resources

We hope you are as inspired as we are to join them, make some music, or even go listen to some of their brilliant events!

“Being part of Make Music Day has been a catalyst for action, to make it happen!”

You can join in by signing up your performances for Make Music Day by clicking here! Just tag @makemusicdayUK and @NYMAZmusic with #Rural #MakeMusicEverywhere to celebrate with us!


Tags | Advocacy | Campaigns | Music Education Hub | Remote music learning

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