On Holy Saturday (31 March) at 7.30pm, The Tallis Scholars will perform the concert “Requiem” at St John’s Smith Square. This concert is in support of The Muze Trust, a charity which provides music initiatives in Zambia, especially for deprived children and adults.
The Muze Trust was set up in 2012 and Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars, is one of the original Trustees of the charity.
Phillips first found out about the move to establish the charity about 10 years ago from a choir called Vox Zambezi who visited the UK and told Phillips about their work and their ambitions for musical education in Zambia. On a visit to Lusaka, during which Phillips worked with the choir and met local musicians, he found out more about the lack of funds for music initiatives and saw how much UK musicians could learn from their Zambian counterparts. He in turn quickly became involved in the establishment of a charity which could work in conjunction with other organisations supporting everyday needs. The founding objective of the new charity was to encourage music making in communities, especially in underprivileged areas, and open up opportunities for musical exchange between Zambia and the UK.
Peter Phillips said: “I am thrilled to be able to highlight the fantastic work of The Muze Trust - I hope our concert will increase the awareness of the important role this charity plays in developing musical education in Zambia”.
There is currently no specialised programme for aspiring music teachers in Zambia, little support for music leaders in the capital Lusaka and rural areas and few formal opportunities for children to come together and develop their music marking. It also came to the attention of the Trust that parts of Zambia’s rich musical tradition were being lost due to lack of notation skills amongst otherwise highly talented music leaders. This is why The Muze Trust has been establishing schemes that will fund professional musicians to visit Zambia to provide teacher training through mentor-led workshops and support the development of outreach workshops for children. The money raised from the Trust pays for professional musicians from the UK to travel to Lusaka and the surrounding villages (some of them very remote) every year. During these visits, children and music leaders are taught to read and write music. The Trust also places great emphasis on a two-way dialogue and promotes the exchange of musical traditions and ideas.
By attaching the name of The Muze Trust to this high profile concert, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars hope to focus press attention on the charity. They will also be donating the profits of the concert, plus a collection at the end, to the charity.
This concert is part of the Holy Week Festival, curated by St John’s Smith Square and Tenebrae. The music in this programme takes us on a spiritual journey from the light of Easter, through the darkness of Lent, to return to a rather different light - the light of Victoria's belief in the afterlife with his Requiem Mass, one of the greatest masterpieces of the High Renaissance.