Music@Malling brings outstanding musicians to people’s doorsteps in concerts and outreach and is held in historic buildings in and around West Malling, Kent. Our dynamic and inspiring activities engage people of all ages from the local area, region and beyond bringing new people into an area with a rich heritage and set in an outstanding natural environment.
During 2021/22 Music@Malling has gradually been able to return to in-person events -concerts and outreach – which are designed to increase participation, reach new audiences and embed music in local primary and secondary schools. Our activities bring the community together through the shared experience of music, increase well-being and inspire people to be creative.

Outputs
Music@Malling Festival – fifteen concerts held between 24th September – 2nd October 2021 held in historic venues in and around West Malling, Kent. Highlights included world premieres of Mark-Anthony Turnage and Brian Elias; concerts ranging from Purcell to the present day with internationally acclaimed artists including The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Chamber Domaine; Fretwork; The Sacconi Quartet; Nicholas Daniel OBE – Oboe; Steven Devine – Harpsichord; Craig Ogden – Guitar and jazz events including James Pearson Trio; Liane Carroll – Vocals; Classical Kicks with Lizzie Ball and The Callum Au Quintet. People seemed absolutely delighted to be able to attend live events again. Feedback included: “The playing was superb with such energy and enthusiasm. Such a welcoming atmosphere in a beautiful venue.” (Sacconi Quartet and Nicholas Daniel OBE); “We are so lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy such great music and see and hear outstanding musicians. Proud that a small community can support such a great series of events.” (Chamber Domaine – O Albion/Side-by-Side).

Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions – three concerts held in the iconic setting of Malling Abbey on April 23rd 2022 with the complete Brandenburg Concertos performed by Chamber Domaine alongside six new works by a fascinating cross-section of British composers Brian Elias, Joseph Phibbs, Stevie Wishart, Daniel Kidane, Deborah Pritchard and Michael Price. The concerts were performed to capacity audiences and received five-star reviews in The Observer, The Artsdesk and Catholic Herald.

Revolting Rhymes – Music@Malling commissioned an animated video of Roald Dahl – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs illustrated by Rosie Brooks and narrated by Matthew Sharp. The animation illustrates Eleanor Alberga’s stunning score specially written for the story. The music was recorded individually by 21 musicians from Chamber Domaine during the lockdown. Online resources and activities were created in 2021 when it was impossible to go into schools and are available on our website www.musicatmalling.com. In May 2022, Music@Malling delivered in-person workshops in 8 primary schools with whole-class composing and performing alongside outstanding professional musicians. 240 children were involved in the workshops and over 800 children staff, parents and carers attended the performances held in each school. This programme will run in a further 16 schools in 2022/23. “Visible wow moment when the professional musicians played. To see the children’s jaws drop was a marvellous moment.” Teacher – St.George’s Primary School, Wrotham.

Go Compose – 10 young music creators from across the UK composed a piece in a day mentored by Simon Speare (Faculty – Royal College of Music) and members of Chamber Domaine. This took place online in November 2021 with further sessions planned for July and October 2022 run in partnership with Sound and Music. “The best part was talking to the musicians and getting their feedback on the music I had written. The sessions with Simon Speare were brilliant and extremely helpful.” Participant – Go Compose.

Young Artist Platform – Music@Malling in conjunction with The Royal Academy of Music, has developed a young artist programme for two outstanding ensembles selected by audition. 20 groups applied and two were selected for a year programme of paid concerts, outreach and mentoring from Music@Malling artists and management. The two groups are The Immy Churchill Trio (jazz) and The Hill Quartet (classical). This is an ongoing programme.

Music@Malling have developed a Scratch Orchestra which brings young people of all ages together to make music. This was finally launched in May 2022 and engaged 20 young people and their parents. This orchestra gives young musicians the chance to compose, create new pieces and recreate existing pieces working alongside outstanding professional musicians. This is an ongoing programme that brings the community together through music and encourages families to participate in the arts, many for the first time. “It was such an amazing, inspiring experience. Thanks lots.” Parent/participant – Music@Malling Scratch Orchestra.

Side-by-Side – Music@Malling had side-by-side activities for young instrumentalists and singers as part of our concert programme, enabling gifted and talented musicians to rehearse and perform with leading professional musicians. “Being part of such a wonderful sound was a unique and enjoyable experience.” Side-by-Side Participant.

CPD – Music@Malling has given Continuing Professional Development for teachers online (2021) and during live sessions in school (2022) to embed music into local schools and develop skills, particularly for non-specialist teachers. This is part of an ongoing programme and is run in conjunction with our partners – Kent Music, Sound and Music, Royal Academy of Music.

Let’s Get Creative – Music@Malling developed a series of interactive videos for preschoolers and their parents/carers featuring Matthew Sharp described by The Times as “a virtuoso of the arts.” These introduce young children to music through creative activities and will be delivered live in 2022/23 as part of Music@Malling outreach.

Insights
• In 2022, Music@Malling developed a three-year artistic and financial plan with concerts and differentiated outreach.
• Our activities in 2021/22 made strides back towards normality. Making music, playing in ensembles and live performances were particularly badly hit by the pandemic: it was evident from our feedback that engaging with live music through concerts and outreach is extremely important and valued by people of all ages and backgrounds.
• Music@Malling is working to increase its outreach activities in areas of social and cultural deprivation and Levelling Up for Culture Areas in Gravesham and Medway and has ambitious plans to move forwards to broaden the reach and impact of our outreach projects.
• Music@Malling are committed to making its outreach activities FREE to all participants; encouraging participation and making all our events as inclusive as possible.
• Music@Malling receives funding from a wide range of public funders; trusts and foundations; and sponsorship. We are particularly working on multi-year funding to implement our differentiated outreach to give continuity and sustainability to our ambitious programme and maximise its impact particularly on those that would not otherwise engage with the arts.