Saffron Centre for Young Musicians to open in October 2015

23 September 2015

The CYM Guildhall logo.

Centre for Young Musicians (CYM), a division of the Guildhall School, is delighted to announce its new Saffron Centre, which will open in October 2015. A specialist Saturday music school, the Saffron Centre for Young Musicians will enhance progression routes in music education in the area by collaborating with Saffron Walden County High, Saffron Hall and Essex Music Education Hub. It will be open to young people throughout the area and will have a bursary scheme to promote access.

Kate Goatman, an alumna of the Guildhall School, has been appointed Head of Centre. The Centre will receive support from Essex Music Education Hubs for the first year, with renewal subject to national government decisions on Music Hubs, together with significant investment from Saffron Walden County High School, Saffron Hall and the Guildhall School.

The new Centre’s curriculum will be based on the London CYM, founded in 1970. CYM has provided high quality progressive music training for thousands of talented children with many going on to pursue careers in music. More than 420 young musicians aged 8 to 18 attend the Saturday Centre in London for 32 weeks of the school year, each following an individual programme of study across a range of genres from classical to jazz, gamelan, folk and music theatre. The Centre, based at Morley College, is committed to providing excellence in achievement alongside wide access and all teaching staff are experienced and respected professionals and performers. The CYM is a Centre for Advanced Training within the Department for Education’s Music & Dance Scheme and, as a division of the Guildhall School since 2009, CYM also plays a part in the Guildhall Young Artists progression routes, from primary education right through to graduate and postgraduate studies in music.

Stephen Dagg, Director, Centre for Young Musicians commented, ‘It gives me great pleasure to announce the opening of the Saffron Centre for Young Musicians. This partnership between the Guildhall School, Essex Music Education Hub, Saffron Walden County High School and the prestigious Saffron Hall precisely reflects the National Plan for Music Education’s commitment to collaborative working across the under eighteen sector. The Guildhall School’s Young Artists Division now has a truly national reach and we are delighted to offer talented young musicians in the Saffron Walden area access to the same opportunities we are able to provide in London, Norwich and Taunton.’

Councillor Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said: “I’m thrilled that the Hub are involved in this exciting venture. Music education is evolving rapidly in this country, evidenced by this dynamic collaboration. It’s great to have a partnership between a local school with a strong reputation for music, the county Hub and an organisation like the Centre for Young Musicians which has importance on a national level. Saffron Centre for Young Musicians will maximise opportunities for young musicians on a local, countywide and national level.”

The Saffron Centre is the third to be established outside of London. The Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians opened in September 2013 and is managed jointly by the Guildhall School and the Norfolk Music Service with funds made available by the Guildhall School, the Hub and the City of Norwich School. The Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians near Taunton in Somerset opened in March 2014 and is managed by the Guildhall School with bursary funds made available by the Sound Foundation Somerset Music Hub. As in Norwich, the curriculum mirrors CYM in London in terms of ensembles, choirs and musicianship groups, with individual lessons being added as requests come in.

Kate Goatman was at Junior Guildhall from 1986-91 before graduating from the Royal

Northern College of Music in 1995. She returned to the Guildhall School to complete her

Diploma in Orchestral Studies the following year. Alongside being a professional trumpeter, Kate

Goatman has a distinguished teaching career in the Saffron Walden area (including at Saffron Walden County High) with an excellent knowledge of local schools, headteachers and fellow instrumental teachers. She has worked alongside staff at Saffron Hall including Angela Dixon, Chief Executive. Kate Goatman founded, and continues to manage, the Saffron Walden Children’s Orchestra holiday courses.

Saffron Walden County High School is one of the top performing non-selective state schools in England. An Ofsted Outstanding comprehensive, the 2000 pupil school is part of Saffron Academy Trust, which includes Alec Hunter Academy in Braintree, and two primary schools in Saffron Walden. It has a well-established tradition of musical excellence with over 350 students having individual music lessons, and offers an extensive range of senior and junior ensembles including a full symphony orchestra. In September 2014 the school opened a Sixth Form Music Academy, which aims to attract the most talented musicians from across the local area. The Music Academy students, through a programme of masterclasses and by participating in a music ambassador initiative with local primary students, are developing into confident and accomplished musicians.

Saffron Hall is an award-winning 740 seat performance space built in the grounds of Saffron

Walden County High School. Since the hall opened in November 2013, artists including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicola Benedetti, Maxim Vengerov and The Sixteen have all performed on its stage. The £10-million venue is the result of a partnership between the School and Yellow Car Charitable Trust and is believed to be the largest gift of its kind to a state school. Saffron Hall aims to be a trail-blazing model of state school and community music provision, producing outstanding events with world-class artists.

Essex Music Education Hub is led by Essex Music Services, part of Essex County Council. They receive Department for Education funding through Arts Council England to deliver musical opportunities for 5-18 year olds across the county. The Hub offers the opportunity for every young person to learn an instrument and play, sing and perform in an ensemble and works hard to strengthen and develop new progression routes for young musicians. Essex Music Education Hub’s ever-expanding offer also includes instrument hire; community music schools; 20 countywide ensembles and choirs; CPD ,training , conferences and curriculum development for teachers; digital learning resources; a diverse world music programme; extension projects with a broad range of professional partners and much more. Essex Music Education Hub strives to make opportunities available for all, and so offers tuition vouchers and bursaries to children from low-income families and Children in Care.

If you are a tutor or student and would like more information about Saffron Centre for Young Musicians please email