Hereford & Worcester

Musical protest in Hereford for threatened scheme

Students against funding cuts for a subsidised music scheme in Herefordshire have been staging a musical protest.

More than 100 played their instruments in Hereford in support of the county music service, which is accessed by 3,000 people in the county.

Protest organisers said the service, which offers subsidised lessons and instrument hire, could end.

It also offers residential music courses, weekly orchestras and bands.

In January, Herefordshire Council said it had to save £10.3m in the coming financial year and £5.8m the following year.

'Enjoy learning music'

Up to 250 jobs are also under threat under the cuts.

A spokesman for Saturday's protest in High Town said options for the future of the service included a rise in the hourly teaching rate charged to schools, an overhaul of pay and conditions for staff, or contracting out.

Beth Smith, co-organiser said: "I hope that Saturday's protest will reflect the strength of feeling amongst my fellow players and persuade the council that the music service simply cannot be abolished."

Maggie Tate, who was conducting the students at the protest said: "It would be awful if the music service closed - we have to do everything we can to stop this happening so that the young people of Herefordshire can continue to enjoy the benefits of learning music and playing together".

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