The last few days of the 2021 season

A pyramid of yellow buckets with Promenaders' Musical charities labels with a back drop of the auditorium of the Royal Albert Hall

Tonight marks the first ever appearance of the Proms Festival Orchestra, performing Mahler’s 5th Symphony under Mark Wigglesworth. The BBC has put this orchestra together to provide work for some London’s freelance musicians, and to highlight their plight over the last 18 months. There’s an interview with their harpist, Tamara Young, which describes the issues.

This is also the aspect of the work of Help Musicians which we have supported through last year’s and this year’s online collections. So far this year supporters have donated £1,335 towards this. You can still donate via our JustGiving page.

We are also supporting the music therapy work of Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent). So far £970 has been donated to them. Again the JustGiving page is still open for further donations.

BBC Proms 2021 season collection arrangements and 2020 update

A pyramid of yellow buckets with Promenaders' Musical charities labels with a back drop of the auditorium of the Royal Albert Hall

Friday 30 July is the start of the 2021 season of the Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, in association with the BBC. After last year it represents something of a return to normality, although the season is shorter (as are many of the concerts). Although audiences return, we are still organising an online-only collection this year. The trustees have decided to again concentrate on our two core charities, Help Musicians (Registered charity No. 228089), and Young Lives v Cancer [CLIC Sargent’s new operating name] (Registered charity No. 1107328). This is because season tickets are not available for prommers, and we do not yet know how easy it will be to buy tickets via the online only system in place this year, which means we cannot predict how many trustees or collectors will be present at each concert. We will keep this under review, and may be able to reinstate bucket collections later in the season.

We have created pages on JustGiving to allow you to make online donations to these charities via Promenaders’ Musical Charities, follow this link for Help Musicians and this link for Young Lives v Cancer (CLIC Sargent). If you would rather send a cheque (or CAF cheque), see the details on our 2021 season page.

With Help Musicians we will be supporting their COVID-19 Hardship Fund. Musicians get most of their work on a freelance basis, which has almost entirely dried up. Many have found that they do not qualify for the government support schemes, so have had to apply for Universal Credit or other benefits which may still leave them in considerable financial difficulties.

With CLIC Sargent we will continue to fund their music therapy work with children and young people with cancer (and their families). Life with cancer is hard enough in normal times, but of course there are inevitably many more worries at the moment, and this is vital support to help those receiving treatment for cancer. Unfortunately this work had to be suspended in the early part of the pandemic, but these donations will help remobilise the service, potentially moving to an online service, depending on what restrictions remain in place within hospitals.

Due to concerns about the potential for spreading COVID we will not be using our traditional shout towards the end of the interval to give the audience in the hall an update on collection progress. We will continue to provide regular updates on the progress of our collection on this site, and via our Twitter account and Facebook page. We are investigating other methods for providing updates during concerts.

2020 update

Last year Help Musicians UK received £4,757.08 as the result of our collection while CLIC Sargent received £2,515.00. This comprises the amounts donated directly via the JustGiving pages plus £200 each from donations received by Promenaders’ Musical Charities in memory of a promenader who died during the year.