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Breaking The Glass Ceiling – Fast Forward 2017

On the 29th September, Bristol Music Trust hosted a national symposium called Breaking the Glass Ceiling at Colston Hall. The event brought together representatives from the music industry and music education sectors to explore how they might work more strategically to remove barriers to careers in the music industry for young, talented musicians with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The day was facilitated by Philip Flood, CEO of Sound Connections and keynote speeches were given by Suzanne Bull, CEO of Attitude is Everything and DWP Sector Champion for Music, and Nerissa Taysom, Research Manager for The Music Commission (ABRSM).

Two panels were also present. The first ‘Artist Panel’ comprised artists who are disabled and who have overcome barriers to forge a career in the music industry. These were: Lloyd Coleman (British Paraorchestra), James Roase (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Kris Halpin (Drake Music Association) and Charlotte White (British Paraorchestra).

The second ‘Industry Panel’ was made up of music industry organisations who either employ musicians or whose role it is to support and represent the interests of musicians. The panelists were: Sean Gregory, Director of Learning and Participation at the Barbican and Guildhall; Ellara Wakely, Senior Learning Manager BBC Proms, Phil Castang, Head of Bristol Plays Music, Lisa Tregale, Head of BSO Participate at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and Chris Walters, Education and Training Officer at the Musicians’ Union.

The panel discussions preceded breakout sessions during which delegates reflected on the key challenges, opportunities and actions necessary to break the glass ceiling.

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