BBC Music Day 2017

UK-wide annual celebration of music that aims to unite communities and generations through their love of music

BBC Music today announces details of events and activity for this year’s BBC Music Day on Thursday 15 June. 

BBC Music Day is a UK-wide annual celebration of music that aims to unite communities and generations through their love of music. The theme for this year’s BBC Music Day is the power of music – to bring people together, to enhance feelings of well-being and to create unforgettable memories.

It will be broadcast across BBC Radio and BBC Local Radio and BBC Television and this year will take place not just on 15 June but also in the week leading up to BBC Music Day.

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio, says: “BBC Music Day is a chance for people across the country to celebrate the power of music in all its glorious forms, from participating in one of their local events to tuning in at home for some fantastic performances. There is a diverse array of activities on offer with something for everyone to help mark the contribution that music makes to our lives.”

Rebecca Sandiford, Producer of BBC Music Day, says: “This year BBC Music Day is an inspiring celebration of musical creativity, whether it’s an international music icon performing live on Radio 2, a brass band performing on a village green or children taking part in a classical music school assembly. We’re delighted to be collaborating with so many external partners this year. BBC Music Day is a powerful way to bring people together through the universal language of music.”

Live performances

The celebration will feature some amazing live performances. On Friday 9 June Texas play with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a free concert from Glasgow’s Barrowlands, which will be broadcast live on Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland.

Sharleen Spiteri of Texas said: “It's always a magical moment to play with an orchestra, even more so in your home town.”

Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie will be broadcasting their BBC Radio 6 Music show live from Liverpool on BBC Music Day, celebrating the city’s musical legacy from the Beatles’ era to the present day. The show will include performances from local heroes Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and indie psych-pop four-piece She Drew The Gun.

Will Young and the Courteeners also provide unique collaborations in Salford, performing with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for BBC Radio 5 live’s Sports Panel, broadcast on Thursday 8 June 12.30-2pm. Exploring the common ground between music and sport, the programme will also feature Olympic gold medal-winning diver Chris Mears and Team GB long-jumper and The Voice contestant Jazmin Sawyers who have started musical careers alongside their sporting triumphs.

BBC Music Day ambassadors

Some of the UK’s most celebrated musical talent will be Ambassadors for BBC Music Day 2017. Ambassadors include rock royalty Ozzy Osbourne, Manchester’s finest Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder, Britain’s favourite tenor Alfie Boe and the Last Shadow Puppets’ Miles Kane all of whom will be taking part in some surprise BBC Music Day activity. More details of which will be revealed nearer the time.

Alfie Boe says: “I feel incredibly humbled be an Ambassador for BBC Music Day. Music has always been in my life, and lucky enough for me I have made a career from this. So being able to celebrate and promote the importance of music is a further privilege”.

Miles Kane says: “I think music is one of the most powerful things on earth. It lets you dream, takes you to another world, gives you confidence, makes you sad, brings out emotions that you never thought you had. Music is everything. An ambassador sounds epic! I'm completely honoured plus it’s amazing that I am able to represent Liverpool and the Wirral, which makes me feel proud of where I'm from”.

The Courteeners say: “Too often, the popular get more popular and everyone else is left behind. This is a chance to shine a light on all different styles of music”.

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown and Singer/Producer Zack Knight will also lend their talent with special performances for BBC Music Day.

Unveiling 45 new blue plaques

BBC Local Radio and The British Plaque Trust will unveil 45 new plaques to commemorate people or places that have influenced the musical landscape in each BBC Local Radio Area. Singers, musicians, song-writers or producers, as well as significant locations which play a major role in our musical heritage will be revealed on BBC Local Radio on June 14.

The prestigious list, covering a huge range of musical genres was whittled down from listener suggestions as well as those made via a committee made up of music industry experts and BBC Local Radio representatives. The unveilings will be covered on BBC Local Radio, Regional TV, Radio 2, Radio 3, 5 Live, 6 Music and Asian Network.

Local events and communities

Community activity is at the heart of BBC Music Day.

Ten Pieces, the BBC’s classical music initiative, joins the BBC Music Day festivities as 263 schools and almost 50,000 pupils across the UK will take part in special Ten Pieces assemblies, with broadcasts on Radio 3, Radio 2, CBBC and Local Radio. Children up and down the UK will attempt to break musical world records. In Bradford, 800 children aim to beat the current world record for Bamboo Tamboo, which is music created by hitting a bamboo stick on the ground. In Portsmouth over a thousand children will gather to create a new drumming world record. Their attempts will be covered on CBBC and BBC Regional TV.

Bell ringing groups around the world will unite to ring bells at 7pm local time in support of BBC Music Day. Last year over 200 bell-ringing groups signed up across the UK. This year’s attempt aims to include bell-ringers from as far afield as Australia and Zimbabwe to create a very special bell-ringing moment that will be featured on Radio 2.

There will be musical celebrations around the UK including 1000 musicians performing for over 24 hours in Sheffield, and Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary festivities in Liverpool. And around the UK there will also be a few special surprises too!

The power of music to make a difference to people’s lives is highlighted in Radio 2’s Songs my Sons Loved as Jeremy Vine meets the mothers of four soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, who remember their sons through the music they loved. Each woman tells the story of her son’s life and death by exploring the songs that were significant to him, providing a moving and ultimately uplifting account of a mother’s love for a boy who grew up but never had the chance to grow old. The programmes will be aired as four stand-alone documentaries and will be broadcast from Monday 12 to Thursday 15 June, 1.30-2pm.

BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra will be highlighting the power of music to support mental wellbeing as part of My Mind And Me, the stations’ year-long mental health campaign.

Music in Hospitals is a national charity that provides professional live music sessions for ill and disabled people of all ages in healthcare setting across the UK. This year Music in Hospitals will be organising nationwide concerts in children’s hospitals around the UK in celebration of BBC Music Day, for staff, patients and their families.

The Alzheimer’s Society in collaboration with BBC Music Day will be celebrating the healing power of music. For people living with dementia there is strong evidence that music can improve their quality of life. Between 12 and 14 June Alzheimer’s Society Singing for the Brain groups across the UK will be joining together to perform a rendition of the classic track Singing in the Rain.

Kathryn Smith, Operations Director for Alzheimer’s Society, says: “Even when memories are hard to retrieve, many people with dementia can still recall and relate positively to music. Community groups like Singing for the Brain can be a lifeline for people living with dementia and their carers. The sessions can help people living with the condition communicate, improve their mood and leave them feeling good about themselves. Alzheimer’s Society is delighted to be uniting with BBC Music Day to celebrate the power of music.”

Information about events and how to participate is available on the BBC Music Day website.

May 11, 2017 1:36pm ET by BBC One  

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