The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162642   Message #3871912
Posted By: Vic Smith
16-Aug-17 - 07:16 AM
Thread Name: EFDSS awards funding for new music
Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
Matt Milton writes:-
"You'd have thought that someone at EFDSS would have pointed out the notable homogeneity there."

I am a member of EFDSS. It took me over 30 years of active interest to reach that stage. The biggest thing that influenced me to join in 2000 was the tremendous work of their library director, Malcolm Taylor and the great things that he was behind in projects, publications and digitising so much and making it available on line. This work continues in the way that Full English database has continued its development.
That aside, I do have some concerns about the direction of EFDSS since Malcolm's retirement. At the present time there does not seem to me to be 'someone at EFDSS' to use Matt's phrase who has sufficient vibrancy and influence within the organisation to progress the thrust of the direction that Malcolm was steering it in. I am very impressed by the new young librarian, Laura Smyth, but understandably as yet she does not seem to have the clout that Malcolm had. We will have to wait and see.

At the same time, it must be said that the top full time staff at EFDSS have become much more adept at fund-raising and obtaining much larger grants from Arts England etc. In that sense the EFDSS has been dragged screaming into the 21st century and schemes like the 'Musicians in Museums' residencies are brilliant and innovative and do help to get the songs and music heard by a wider audience. I ought to point out to Dick that there are already extensive and ongoing EFDSS involvement with schools. In fact, with the crisis in music funding in English schools that schools are more welcoming in having outside experts involved. Have a look at and you will see that EFDSS has seven members of staff in its education department.

I think what I am saying is that there needs to be a fine balance between creative and inventive fund raising and careful delivery and assessment of projects whilst retaining a love of English dance and song and knowing how it can be presented in a way that will make it grow and thrive.

As a matter of interest, how many of those who have posted here either pro or anti what happens at EFDSS are actually members who contribute the annual membership fees and suggest ideas to the organisation?