Arts and culture enhance our lives – and provide opportunities for businesses to support their local community.
Northamptonshire has many award-winning cultural organisations delivering the highest levels of performing arts. Did you know that the county is a beacon for great music talent? Yet another Northamptonshire Surprise!
But many of these organisations need our support – not only through attendance at events but also corporate sponsorship. Your company’s social responsibility strategy could be used to generate staff and community wellbeing through collaboration with arts and cultural organisations.
On July 16, the University of Northampton was alive with the sound of music when it hosted a classical music spectacular of brass and voices, in a Picnic on the Lawn event. Musical maestro Stephen Bell led the county’s GUS Brass Band, the Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) and Kettering soloist Joshua Daniel – aka The Tenor – entertaining a large and lucky audience in a wonderful musical extravaganza.
The main event was preceded by a Youth Performance session at 5pm, when the stage was handed over to young artists to give them experience of live performance on a public stage, opening an event full of glorious music on what turned out to be a perfect summer evening.
World class talent
The GUS Band is a world-famous brass band. It was formed in Kettering in 1933 and since then has gone on to establish itself as one of the world’s leading bands, with a string of titles to its name and regular appearances at the National Brass Band Championships in the Royal Albert Hall. The band is currently the Midlands Champions, and has, in the past, been World Champions.
NMVC is an multi-award-winning and forward thinking male voice choir, with around 90 singers under the inspirational leadership of Musical Director, Stephen Bell. On the night they were accompanied by tenor Joshua Daniel, whose voice is truly divine.
Thanks to the performers and to Matt Owen at MOSounds who did the staging and acoustics, plus the support of the University, the Lieutenancy, former Lord-Lieutenant David Laing, and the Northamptonshire Surprise project, this inaugural concert got off to a great start, with many civic organisations now offering to support the event in future. Planning for Picnic on the Lawn 2023 started on July 18 and dates will be announced soon.
The strategy of the organiser, Connie Penn, is to work closely with the University, Lieutenancy, Northamptonshire Surprise and local organisations such as the Northampton Town Centre BID to make next year’s event even bigger and better as a showcase for the county’s talent.
Community engagement opportunity
The GUS Band wants to raise its profile within the community, using that visibility to encourage more youngsters to get involved in music. They are working with Connie and Stephen Bell, on the following objectives:
- Give young musicians the opportunity to perform in public
- Offer opportunities to disadvantaged youth to engage with music
- Build on the excellent training provided to under 18s by NMPAT (Northants Music & Performing Arts Trust) to allow young musicians to continue to play when they leave school.
How can you help?
The Lieutenancy and the University are keen to bring the public, private and third sectors together for the good of the community. Local businesses are invited to support GUS, NMVC, the Youth Performance initiative as well as future Picnic on the Lawn concerts.
Picnic on the Lawn has a promising future. But GUS and NMVC have ongoing operational costs. GUS needs to make some capital expenditure. There is a cost of staging the concerts, so fundraising is key.
Engagement with GUS and NMVC is another way for local businesses to demonstrate their social responsibility credentials and raise their profile. There are a variety of sponsorship options and levels available, including the opportunity to associate the company name with the band.
With so many challenges in life, live music is vitally important – it can change our mood and uplift us. But our arts and cultural bodies, as well as social causes, need the help of local businesses.
If nurturing and supporting our local musical talent appeals to you, please get in touch!
For more details, contact Connie Penn via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07771 804501