National Centre for Early Music

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The National Centre for Early Music runs a lively year-round learning and participation programme for all ages, from early years to adult, which encompasses a wide range of musical genres, including early music, jazz, folk and world.

Central to the calendar are two prestigious competitions: the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition , which spotlights the cream of young professionals in the early music world, and the annual NCEM Young Composers Award , which aims to create awareness of the music of the past in the composers of tomorrow. The NCEM works closely with local universities to offer CPD to students, including musical development, teaching and facilitation skills, and administration and project management experience. There are also opportunities for the wider community to get involved in music-making at the NCEM, through a series of Family Friendly concerts and workshops and through Come-and-Play events (ranging from Javanese gamelan to Brass Band instruments).

The NCEM is a strong supporter of young people's music-making, with regular highlights for this age group including The Minster Minstrels (York's youth early music ensemble); the annual Musical Play in a Week summer school for 10-15 year olds; and a host of learning and participation activities running as part of the annual Early Music Festivals in York and Beverley . The NCEM is also an official Arts Award Supporter offering activities to help young people aged 7 to 25 to develop as artists and art leaders. The NCEM remains committed to equality and continues to support young people living in challenging circumstances through its outreach programme, Music4U . This programme began in 2001, as part of Youth Music's Youth Music Action Zone initiative, alongside local authority partners across York and the Humber. Music4U continued 2012-15 as one of 26 organisations funded by Youth Music to champion Musical Inclusion across the country. Music4U's current work is supported by a Youth Music grant and delivered in partnership with York Arts Education, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council and the York, Hull and East Riding Music Education Hubs.

By involving some of the finest musicians in the country in its learning and participation programme, the NCEM provides inspiring, high-quality learning experiences. Recent collaborations have included the York Baroque Strings Project , with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and violinist Rachel Podger, and composition workshops with Anna Meredith and Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir, as part of the NCEM's work as a BBC Ten Pieces Champion.

The learning and participation programme and associated learning resources are made possible thanks to support from Youth Music, Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, York Music Hub and York Music Centre.