UTOM invests in the roots of music life

With the support of Signatur Foundation Sweden, Young Minds For Music (UTOM) began implementing the project “The Roots of Music Life” in 2021.

In connection with its 250th anniversary in 2021, the Royal Academy of Music announced a “Year of Music”. This project is UTOM’s anniversary gift and aims to reach out to the roots of music life throughout the country, with a particular focus on the birth places of UTOM’s members or those places to which the members have a strong connection. These roots are the ecosystem of Swedish music life, the multifaceted chain of learning consisting of everything from music and cultural schools, study associations, folk high schools, higher music educations, to local and regional associations, orchestras, choirs, bands, etc.

Activities around Sweden

Here are some of the activities that have been implemented, despite the pandemic, since the start of the project:

  • Choral conductor and church musician Justin Hazelgrove and UTOM’s operations manager Max Låke gave an inspirational digital lecture to teachers at Karlshamn Music School on how to ignite the spark in their students and keep it alive.
  • UTOM’s Robin Cochrane went home to Östersund where he held a workshop in West African music at Birka Folk High School.
  • Producer and agent Noomi Hedlund went digitally home to Eskilstuna and gave a talk to all staff at Eskilstuna Cultural School about the current status of wind music and the challenge of getting children and young people to start playing an instrument.
  • Lyricist and rapper Erik Lundin returned to his old primary school, Ellen Keyskolan in Spånga. There, together with music teacher Nathaniel Glaser Skog, he taught students in year 8 to write hip-hop lyrics.
  • UTOM alumnus Filip Jers packed up his harmonica and went to Höör to offer a harmonica workshop for the students at the Cultural School.
  • Musical theatre star Frida Modén Treichl guest performed with the El Sistema National Orchestra at Stockholm Concert Hall.
  • UTOM alumnus Anna Christensson went home to Skövde to lecture at her old school – Music High School Västerhöjd.
  • Choral conductor and church musician Justin Hazelgrove visited Karlshamn Music School and held a choral clinic with all staff.
  • Artist and project manager Sousou Cissoko, who is one of the world’s few female kora players, returned to Höör and lectured at the Cultural School.

Many planned activities in the project have been postponed until the Spring of 2022.

Cross-genre music network

Young Minds For Music (UTOM) is an autonomous and independent network that aims to harness the imagination, potential and voice of young people working in the professional music world. At the heart of its activities are young professionals from all music professions and musical genres who meet, develop and work together for the inclusive, challenging, tolerant and bold cultural climate of the future. UTOM consists of 40 members, aged between 25 and 40 years, elected for a four-year term.

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”Private funders who, in an altruistic way, create opportunities for music life to develop and find new interesting and exciting paths are a rare commodity in Sweden. Therefore, Signatur Foundation Sweden is a fantastic addition and a force with great potential, alongside music’s various stakeholders, to really make a difference.

Max Låke, Executive Director, UTOM