Nicola announced as Patron of the Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST)

The Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST) announces violinist Nicola Benedetti, as its new patron. This news comes ahead of a new, free of charge, Saturday School for Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme pupils which starts on Saturday 24th September.

As a patron of Music in Secondary Schools Trust, Nicola Benedetti will be instrumental in supporting the trust’s commitment to providing classical music education to young people across London. Nicola will work closely with the Saturday School with full day workshops planned in early December. The Saturday School consists of students who have achieved grade 3 and above from the eight MiSST schools in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme. It will take place at New North Academy in Islington and will give the students the opportunity to play in orchestral and ensemble groups.

Nicola Benedetti is fiercely committed to music education and to developing young talent. In September 2015, she, along with 400 school children performed at MiSST’s inaugural concert at The Barbican. Following this performance and being impressed by the achievement of the children, Nicola gave a dozen school children the opportunity of a lifetime to perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Major, RV310 “L’estro Armonico” 3’ with her at the Royal Albert Hall.

As a teacher and advocate of classical music, Nicola has formed associations with education establishments and charities including schools, music colleges and local authorities. In 2010 she became Sistema Scotland’s official musical ‘Big Sister’ for the Big Noise project. In the 2013, she was awarded an MBE in recognition of both her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the U.K, and established her own music educational initiative in March 2013, called the Benedetti Sessions at Glasgow’s City Halls. These masterclasses and workshops have been primarily designed to inspire and enthuse young musicians of all abilities and allow Nicola to work closely with hundreds of young players to rehearse and perform alongside her. Although based in the UK, Nicola has plans to continue to provide the Benedetti Sessions on an international platform.

Launched in 2013, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme began in two schools with aim of improving access to the arts for children and providing children the opportunity to study a musical instrument. After celebrating another successful year, the programme now provides 3,700 young people across eight London state schools with free classical music instruments and weekly group tuition.

Nicola  said:

“MiSST is a shining example of the impossible task of combining excellence with inclusivity. They are relentlessly ambitious in their desire to reach as many people as possible whilst consistently raising musical standards. Truda White is a force of nature and demonstrates what is possible. I am honoured to be associated with her and with this programme, and I look forward to working more closely with them all.”

Andrew Wolfson, Founder and Chair of MiSST, said:

“We are delighted that Nicola will be formally working with our students in supporting our Saturday Music School which aims to develop talented and motivated musicians who have been part of the Andrew Lloyd Webber programme.  Her presence will inspire our young musicians and her attitude to practice and performance encourage the musicians to work to the highest standard at all times but also enjoy what they do.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber said:

“I am thrilled that Nicky has agreed to be the patron of the Music in Secondary Schools Trust. She has already been a huge inspiration to the students on the Andrew Lloyd Webber programme. Together we can nurture the talent of the future and bring the empowering force of music to a new generation.”