While the silence grows more formidable daily, we await a time when we can start to play and sing normally
While musicians on the island long to be able to play again, they have discovered a common voice. They are talking to each other about their passions, what they have on the island, but most important of all, what they are in danger of losing.
A ‘common voice’ has grown as a result of the perceived lack of appreciation and understanding of music matters, apparent in the Government’s reactions to singers and musicians throughout 2020, that has led to much frustration. These issues are not new, nor are they related solely to the specific circumstances of 2020.
Music is a fundamental part of island life, and plays a huge role in many islanders’ lives and wellbeing. However, there is currently no forum through which all those involved in music in the Island can communicate and support each other.
Francis Murton, Director of Music at Jersey’s Victoria College and conductor of The Jersey Island Singers, says: “There is an acute awareness that much needs to be done to rebalance the arts and ensure that we are not side-lined. There is no forum to provide a focus for the musicians of the island and while Jersey Sport has a voice within government, there is no level playing field for music: yet it forms the bedrock of so many things that happen on this island.
“We are empowered by music and want to engage with government and islanders to create and develop a musically diverse and aware society: we want to ensure that we have the framework, facilities and freedom to develop music on our island.”
Francis is one of the founders of the ‘Musical Association of Jersey’. He says: “As a consequence we have formed the association and our aim is to be the forum for musicians on the island.”
The association has ten cells to help focus the very diverse nature of music. These cells include choirs, orchestras and bands, singers, instrumentalists, teachers, private music schools, songwriters, rock/pop bands, composers and producers.
Francis adds: “We want to be there for all and we value the diversity which music provides.”
The forum can be found on Facebook as Musical Association of Jersey and over the coming months they will be looking to grow and develop as an association.