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Music group creates video to urge Moray Council music fees backtrack

A music group with performers from all over Scotland and England have created a video urging Moray Council to change their minds about increasing music tuition fees.

The Old Fountain Jazz Orchestra are renowned all around the United Kingdom and run two special shows in Moray a year, the popular Let it Snow Christmas concert and a Let’s Be Frank Sinatra tribute concert.

It consists of some of some of the brightest jazz musicians in the UK and includes Elgin-born Martin Thomson.

The video shows some of the band members reminiscing about their music lessons in school and then performing a tune called “Hello Everyone” which they all learned through music tuition.

Mr Thomson hopes the video can raise awareness about the importance of the service throughout Scotland, with Moray Council poised to raise fees by 20%.

He said: “We decided to create it as an attempt to raise awareness, because everyone in the band received music tuition and we wouldn’t be where we are without it.


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“David Swan arranged the piece as we all learned it in primary school.

“The video is also not just about Moray Council as this problem is popping up all over the place with other councils also talking about raising fees.”

The music video is included with the hashtag #changethetune, which is being used UK-wide by children who want to protect the music tuition service.

Moray Council initially wanted to raise music tuition fees by 85%, but were heavily criticised and reduced that to 20%.

Head of the music tuition service John Mustard resigned due to the original increase and stood by his decision after that proposal was altered.

He said: “The increase just continues the erosion of the service by price increases that has been ongoing for several years now, and 20% will still be a deal-breaker for some families. Therefore, I have no intention of changing my mind.”

Moray MP Douglas Ross also raised the importance of affordable music tuition during a House of Commons adjournment debate.

He said: “I know that, as a result of the public outcry, the council has backed down and now proposes a 20% rise in fees, but that still risks a big drop-out from the service that reaches more than 800 young people in Moray.

“This misguided rise in tuition fees threatens to cut short many of our young people’s joy and passion for music.”

A decision will be made today by Moray Council.

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