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Former President of Music Teachers Association, Simon Toyne, Appointed Music Director of Hamish Ogston Foundation

Former President of Music Teachers Association, Simon Toyne

The Hamish Ogston Foundation, a charity which supports music education initiatives across the UK, has today announced the appointment of experienced choral director and music educator, Simon Toyne, as Music Project Director.

Mr Toyne, who joins the Hamish Ogston Foundation having recently been President of the Music Teachers’ Association and serving on the Government’s Expert Panel to produce the new National Plan for Music Education, brings more than 30 years of experience and knowledge of the UK music education landscape, which will enable the Foundation to accelerate the expansion of its music initiatives.

The appointment comes at a time when the Hamish Ogston Foundation’s charitable music initiatives are experiencing significant growth. The National Schools Singing Programme, a nationwide initiative founded and supported by the Foundation, designed to create and enhance music programmes at UK state schools, now engages more than 139 schools and approximately 11,605 pupils per week. Backed by £4.7million in grant funding from the Hamish Ogston Foundation, the Programme intends to reach many more over the next year. Mr Toyne will be working alongside Jo Clunie and Christopher Potts, Music Project Managers at the Hamish Ogston Foundation; together, they will use their considerable experience to not only boost the take-up of existing Foundation-funded music initiatives, but also to create new schemes to engage children across the UK in music tuition, performance and creation.

Mr Toyne has extensive experience in the development and growth of music programmes for children and young people around the UK. In his position as Director of Music at the David Ross Education Trust, he leads a music programme for over 14,500 children across 34 state primary and secondary schools across the East Midlands. His work at the Trust has included building an award-winning Singing Schools programme for primary schools, developing a Trust-wide primary and secondary music curriculum, fostering a network of partner organisations to extend the reach of each programme [including Gabrieli Roar, Nevill Holt Opera, Sing Up and the Royal Opera House] and establishing their talent development programme. For 24 years, he was Director of Tiffin Boys’ Choir, one of the few state school choirs to have been continually at the forefront of the choral music scene since its creation, helping many students gain choral scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge.

Mr Toyne’s experience of not only growing existing education programmes, but also of building them from the ground up will help many more less-advantaged children gain places at some of the UK’s most prestigious musical institutions.

Commenting on his appointment, Simon Toyne said:

I am proud to be joining the Hamish Ogston Foundation as Music Project Director at an exciting stage in its development.

“The remarkably rich choral and organ music tradition of the United Kingdom – which has not only developed great singers and choirs, but also composers, conductors and instrumentalists – has made an indescribable contribution to the lives of many millions of people over the centuries, and this tradition has been constantly renewed through the profound contribution of children and young people as active participants.

I am looking forward to contributing to the Foundation’s vital work in developing an even deeper and wider access to this unique tradition, and in helping to shape a vastly more equal British musical culture of the future.”

Hamish Ogston CBE, founder of the Hamish Ogston Foundation, which also supports initiatives in heritage and health, said:

The Hamish Ogston Foundation is committed to growing the UK’s great music traditions by establishing ambitious and financially sustainable programmes.

“Simon’s experience of and connections across the UK music education industry will help the Foundation to significantly expand our efforts to improve and increase the opportunities for children around the country to engage with music, particularly in culturally less-advantaged areas. Our objective is to completely rejuvenate the UK’s oldest living cultural heritage, the choral and organ music tradition, which dates back some 1400 years to the arrival of St Augustine in 597.

“We are delighted to welcome Simon to our team and look forward to achieving great things and changing many lives with the help of his considerable experience and expertise.”

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