A marathon of fast & furious young musical talent

Local Spotlight, Classical Music, Contemporary Music

We spoke to Bec Britain, the project manager behind Music Marathon, to find out more about this unusual community fundraising event that we can all get involved with. 

What was the inspiration behind Music Marathon? Where did the idea come from?
It was a suggestion from our very committed Parents and Friends Association - the mother of one of our students had worked on a ‘Poemathon’ raising money for refugees and thought it would be great for a music format. When she told me about it, I really loved the way lots of young people could contribute a small amount to making a big impact – setting the power of the masses in motion! There’s also a powerful message in young musicians and singers who’ve received support publicly fundraising to ensure the next generation can have the same opportunities. Plus it sounds fast, furious and entertaining!

Who can play at the event, and what can they expect to get out of it?
Anyone aged between 10-25 who is confident to perform in front of an audience for 5 or 10 minutes can register. We want this event to be accessible to musicians, singers and music producers and will welcome any genre, so performers can be solo or part of a group and acoustic or amplified (as long as they can plug into a basic backline and play with no sound check!). For performers, this is a great opportunity to play or sing at Brighton Dome (after all, you never know who’s watching) and to be involved in what we hope will be a really dynamic event. It’s also a way to send a message to the public that music needs support and funding to be widely accessible, and every bit of money participants raise will help to make that happen.

How long will each performer play, not the full 8 hours?
I think fingers and lips might start dropping off if that were the case! Our 8-hour marathon is made up of lots of performers each playing short slots back to back. The idea is that they are literally queuing up to perform and handing straight from one to the next. It should create a fast-paced, exciting and surprising musical mix. We also have some special guests who will appear at different points in the day… these are people who are great advocates for the work we do and want to support us – look out for announcements of who they are nearer to the event!

What kind of music will we hear?
I’m hoping we’ll see a hugely wide range of genres, styles, instruments and voices. This event is a celebration of young musical talent across the city, and we know that our rising local talent is really diverse. We’ve given our performers free rein to play or sing whatever they like (as long as its suitable for a family audience!) and that includes music they’ve composed themselves. It will be really interesting to see what they all choose from other artists, and what they have created.

What is Music Marathon fundraising for & why is it important?
That question really comes down to why you think music matters. If I said there was something that could benefit every child in every school, could improve grades, would allow young people to form lasting friendships and help them become more disciplined and confident, would you think that was important? Luckily there is something that can do all that. It’s music. Sadly, many schools are no longer able to make it part of their curriculum, and many young people won’t have the chance to participate in music outside school.

Music Marathon is a joint fundraising event for encore and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, specifically to support the next generation of musical talent in Brighton & Hove. encore is the fundraising network for all the young musicians supported by Brighton & Hove Music and Arts (BHMA). Over 4000 young people of all abilities are taught by us each week in every Brighton & Hove schools. Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is a charity that creates, presents and hosts 600 events with an audience of 600,000, including 20,000 people directly benefitting from our creative learning work each year. BDBF and BHMA became one organisation on 1 July 2017. Together we provide music and arts education, performance and touring opportunities for children and young people city-wide.

Music Marathon funds raised will provide support for:

  • The Hardship Fund for young musicians who could not otherwise afford to be involved in music making and lessons. This includes attending orchestras, ensembles and going on tour.
  • Orchestra 360 inclusive ensemble with specialist teaching, adapted instruments and performance opportunities.
  • Master-Classes offering talented young musicians individual tuition that could make all the difference to their future career.
  • Specialist Instruments purchase and maintenance for all our ensembles.
  • SPECTRUM music events, nurturing local music talent and providing affordable concerts in a professional setting.
  • Bespoke creative learning projects working with young musicians

Are there any other ways to get involved?
Absolutely! We are looking for help in lots of ways from now right up to the event.

Get the word out: We are recruiting young performers until the registration deadline on 17 September, so go and nudge that talented young person you know to sign up!

Think music matters and want to fundraise? Regardless of your age or whether you are musical, you can set up a fundraising page for the event alongside our young musicians.

Have something to give? We are hosting a raffle during the event and are looking for prizes of all shapes and sizes! We also have some brilliant sponsorship opportunities for businesses.

Got some time to spare? We’ll need lots of hands on deck during the event to keep the Marathon machine moving!

Come to the event! With up to 100 young people performing, it’s a talent hub not to miss.

Music Marathon is on Sat 17 Nov, 10am-6pm at Brighton Dome

If you want to register to perform, find out more or get involved, contact Bec Britain on [javascript protected email address], or visit bhma.org.uk/encore-musicmarathon or brightondome.org/musicmarathon

Performer registration closes Mon 17 Sep​#MusicMarathonBrighton

Supported by The Pebble Trust and BIMM