The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Michael Volpe Headshot

Lobby the PM on Singing Gareth!

Posted: Updated:

So we didn't win in our category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards (Best Concert or Festival Series). Somebody else won it.

Still, the evening wasn't entirely wasted since we managed to spend some time with supporters and colleagues and meet up and chat with various individuals from the industry. Lots of frocks and tuxedos in the room, some nice singing and playing and the slick, polished Radio 3 presenting team of Katie Derham and Petroc Trelawny to guide us through the evening. What more could one want?

Well, to win would have been nice but it was interesting to chat to a member of a jury who said that often, these things are swung by deeply committed or evangelical individuals who basically browbeat the others into submission - especially if the others haven't visited the short-listed concert or event (which is, erm, quite often). Anyway, such is life but I want to get on a jury for a spot of browbeating!

The arch-evangelist for singing, Gareth Malone was the keynote speaker and he was mercifully brief (as compared to a few years ago when the founder of il sistema treated the room to a Politburo type speech in Spanish. I was able to have a chat with Gareth afterwards who probably thought, at first, that I was the doorman asking him to leave. His nerves becalmed, we soon got onto a discussion about culture and singing in schools. Despite his more recent programmes becoming a bit formulaic, the very first 'Choir' was an inspiring reminder of my own youth in a school choir. We do need more of it but I am not aware of any increase in such activity in schools? It would be far more interesting to see Malone lobbying the Prime Minister about such things rather than Jamie Oliver and his food campaigns.

Oh, and the wine wasn't great.