2022 season distribution

Some weeks ago the trustees met and agreed the distribution of the monies collected during the 2022 season. Now the charities have each been informed of what they will receive we can publish the details for our supporters.

The accounts were presented by our treasurer at the trustees’ meeting on Sunday 6 November and showed that there was a balance of £80,000 available for distribution. After discussion of amounts originally requested by the charities, and making allowance for the fact that costs have risen significantly in the nearly three years since they made their proposals the trustees agreed the following distribution of the balance:

  • Help Musicians UK – £30,000
  • Young Lives versus Cancer – £20,000
  • Brass for Africa – £18,000
  • Lost Chord – £12,000

We will make formal presentations over the coming months and hope to be able to share some photos of these events in due course. Thanks to all those who donated and to the prommers who helped with collecting.

Statement following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The closed curtains of the Queen’s Box in the Royal Albert Hall on the evening of 8 September 2022

The trustees were saddened to hear of Her Majesty’s death yesterday, and wish to add our condolences to those already sent to the Royal Family by so many others.

The official announcement came just as many of us were about to enter the Royal Albert Hall for the first of two planned Proms by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Understandably that concert, and the remainder of the season including the Last Night, have been cancelled.

We know that many of you usually choose to make your donation to Promenaders Musical Charities following your final Prom of a season and that as a result of recent events you may not have had the opportunity to do this. A few other promenaders have also expressed the desire to donate the refund that they will be receiving as a result of the cancelled concerts to PMC. We would therefore like to remind you of the online donation form on our 2022 Season page which uses PayPal.

Promenaders are also invited to gather at 3.00 pm tomorrow, 10 September, on the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Steps at the Royal Albert Hall to both pay tribute to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and say farewell at the end of another season of Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts.

The carnations that would have been used for the Last Night buttonholes will either be laid in tribute on the dedication stone on the steps or taken after our gathering to Green Park.

2022 collection launch and 2021 update

Tonight the 2022 BBC Proms season gets under way. This year we are able to return to a collection on the doors at the end of a Prom. The yellow buckets will return, but as the Royal Albert Hall is now largely cashless we are also introducing card readers on the main doors. The buckets will also have a QR code which will take you to our 2022 Season page where you will find donate buttons which will take you to our PayPal account donation facility.

2022 charities

We will support Help Musicians and CLIC Sargent (now operating as Young Lives v Cancer) as usual and with the return to the bucket collection we are also adding Brass for Africa and Lost Chord. Full details of all charities are on the 2022 Season page.

2021 update

2021 was a purely online collection supporting Help Musicians and CLIC Sargent. The amounts donated were:

  • Help Musicians £7,727.53
  • CLIC Sargent £3,290

Obviously this was a total of only just over £11,000. With the return to normal operations this season then hopefully we will be able to return to total in excess of £110,000 as we had seen in earlier seasons!

See you soon

We look forward to seeing you in the hall very soon!

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.