15/05/2017: UK Music was among the guests at a fundraising lunch for the Mayor’s Music Fund – attended by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – to enrich the lives of young people with music scholarships.
The Mayor took the opportunity to welcome the arrival of former MP Michael Dugher as the new chief executive of UK Music during the event at The May Fair Hotel in London.
Sadiq said: “The music world has gained one of the talents of the Labour Party with Michael Dugher moving to UK Music, and today is his first day. I’ve worked with Michael for many years and he’s an incredible musician who is enthusiastic and passionate about music.
“I’m sure he will be missed in Parliament – but Labour’s loss is the music industry’s gain.” And he joked: “It’s important to note that politics has always walked a tricky tightrope when it comes to the music world. Who can forget Tony Blair and Cool Britannia, Gordon Brown and the Arctic Monkeys and David Cameron and The Smiths – finally getting Johnny Marr and Morrissey to agree on something?”
Guests heard from two of the 400 youngsters who have benefited from scholarships, to the tune of £2 million, over the past five years – 14-year-old trumpet player Rebecca and Benjamin, an 11-year-old violinist. Benjamin spoke movingly about his passion for his instrument which he took up three years ago, at a time when he and his mother were homeless, living in a hostel. He has now passed his Grade IV music exam with distinction and hopes it will be his career.
“I was in love with the violin the first time I picked it up,” he said. “I wouldn’t have known the joy of playing the violin without the scholarship. My dream is to be a professional violinist.”
Sadiq (pictured centre) continued: “The Mayor’s Music Fund plays a key role in helping children to access and all the benefits that come with that access to an instrument.”
Joining Michael Dugher (pictured right) as guests on UK Music’s table were chairman of Basca, Crispin Hunt; CEO of the Music Publishers Association, Jane Dyball; head of music and the night-time economy at the GLA, Paul Broadhurst; director of communications for the Mayor, Patrick Hennessey; co-charid of the MMF Diane Wagg; communications consultant Jonathan Morrish; BPI director of public affairs, Ian Moss; honorary president of the FAC Sandie Shaw (pictured left); and chairman of UK Music Andy Heath.