TEAM NAMES: Alex O’Hara (Decca), Amy Maunder-Taylor (Big Machine), Anja Boenicke (Global Classics), Annabelle Walsh (Decca), Beth Lawson (Globe), Caroline Crick (Decca), Cerys Weetch (Decca), Charlotte Jaeger (Globe), Claire Debnam (Decca), Daniel Kohler (Globe), David Heath (Decca), Dom Jones (Decca), Eliot McGuire (Decca), Elizabeth Townsend (Decca), Ellie Glover (Globe), Francesca Hayward (Globe), George Irwin (UMGI), Isabella Todd (Globe), Jim Wilmot (Globe), Kevin Long (Decca), Laura Monks (Decca), Lizzie Bryant (Decca), Madison Westwood (Globe), Neil Mulford (Globe), Rebecca Allen (Decca), Ricole Marshall-Appleby (Globe), Sam Kitchen (Decca), Sarah Giles (Decca), Sophie O'Brien (Decca), Tess Agostini (Globe), Zara Tso (Decca), Vicky Keller (Global Classics)

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In its 90th anniversary year, Decca is thrilled to be supporting the launch of a new Universal Music UK Sound Foundation bursary, The Decca Bursary, which will give children across the country the opportunity to experience classical music.

The Decca Bursary aims to inspire and encourage a new generation of classical musicians and composers. Its mission is to help children afford a classical music education, no matter their financial background.

President of Decca Records, Rebecca Allen, says: “As a 90 year old British music label, we have been appalled to learn about the continuous cuts being given to the arts in state schools across the country. Our industry thrives on the continuous flow of exciting new artists. It is deeply upsetting to think that young children, from whatever their background, are not even being given an opportunity to explore music. Supporting the bursary is one small way in which we can help to inspire a new generation of classical music lovers and to provide assistance in their journeys of discovery and development.”

The first step in raising funds for The Decca Bursary sees an intrepid team from Decca Records and Universal Music UK undertake one of the toughest challenges in the UK – scaling the heights of the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales in one go. On 28th and 29th September, Team Decca will attempt to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, covering 26 miles (42km) of horizontal distance and 3,000m (9,843ft) of vertical ascent, all to raise money to keep classical music education alive and thriving.

All monies donated will be used for The Decca Bursary, a restricted fund of Universal Music UK Sound Foundation.

Individuals in full time education (or schools, teachers & parents/guardians on their behalf) will be able to apply to the Foundation for a grant up to a maximum value of £2000. Grants are open to eligible individuals and ensembles, in need of funding for classical music lessons, instruments and courses throughout the UK. Applications for awards will open in the New Year.

Decca A&R Manager, Fiona Pope, who has been working on the project from inception, says: “The bursary aims to give that ‘first foot’ into classical music that a financial barrier could halt. The opportunity to learn an instrument, and the positive outcomes across all aspects of achievement that it brings, should be for everyone. The idea that the next Pavarotti or Mozart could be within our midst but can’t afford to discover their talent is ludicrous.”

As the leading classical record label in the country, Decca takes pride in breaking down the barriers associated with classical music and encouraging accessibility for everyone. At a time when cuts in funding for the arts in UK schools are taking place, the label’s desire to support music in education grows ever stronger and, with The Decca Bursary, is taking a practical step – with deeds not words – to raise money for the future of music.

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