Today [Thursday 25 May] BBC Radio and Music launches the second edition of the Open Music training scheme, with a call out for applications from creatives and musicians across the UK.
Open Music is part of the BBC’s continued commitment to creative diversity, ensuring that the teams making content include talent from the widest range of backgrounds and disciplines. The scheme will offer 30 successful applicants, without any specific requirement in terms of qualifications or professional and academic background, the opportunity of hands-on experience,masterclasses and mentoring in the fields of radio production, sound engineering, presenting and digital content production in classical music. Running from September 2023 to September 2024, Open Music aims to develop skills and ideas, and to instigate new collaborations, reflected in broadcasts throughout the year and culminating in a BBC Prom created by the Open Music trainees as part of the 2024 season.
The first edition of Open Music ended in October 2022 and the former trainees have gone on to take up opportunities at the BBC and beyond, in the fields of radio production, presenting, communications and sound engineering. The participants were mentored by BBC radio presenters Mary Anne Hobbs, Linton Stephens, and Katie Derham – amongst others – and by staff across BBC Radio and Music, from Radio 3 to BBC Introducing, Radio 1Xtra to the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The scheme culminated in The Dream Prom (01/09/2022, part of the Proms 2022 season and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3), which brought together all trainees in a collaborative concert, drawing on their own experience of racism and mental health. Every participant had a role in the Prom, whether presenting on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, playing in the orchestra, creating the sound design, or working on the radio broadcast as presenters, producers or sound engineers. On The Dream Prom, Open Music 2022 trainee Jenika Patel said: “It was an opportunity and an experience that I am never going to forget […] I hope that everyone that watched and listened to the Prom has been inspired to get more involved in radio and classical and orchestral music.”
Sam Jackson, BBC Radio 3 Controller and Open Music Sponsor, said: “We’re always on the lookout for future talent at the BBC and as we call for applications for Open Music 2023, I’m so pleased we’ll be building on last year’s amazingly successful cohort. We’re looking for people with an undeniable spark of creativity, who feel that what they offer can help us to create truly special and memorable radio. The BBC may just be the place for you: we are one of the biggest media organisations in the world, with a staggering reach, and we commission more new music than anyone in the UK. If you have creative ideas and want tailored mentoring and inspiring career experience as part of this unique organisation, whatever your ideas, age, talent or background, we want you to be part of our story – so, please do put in an application!”
Open Music 2022 trainee Ricardo Burt said: “The Proms and mentorship opportunity has opened up some amazing presenting and producing doors for me. I’ve then gone on to utilise the production skills learnt to get my foot in the door with a great independent production company. From there I’ve been lucky enough to present my own audio documentary on Radio 3 and keep navigating the industry as a presenter.”
Open Music 2022 trainee Koyel Basu said: “Open Music helped realize my passion for the world of music in Radio. I developed great relationships with various producers and presenters across programmes, and the chance to platform the music of my Bengali community from India. I feel blessed and grateful for this opportunity that this scheme and the BBC have given me, marking a cornerstone in my creative career in music journalism.”
For further info on Open Music, please visit: bbc.co.uk/openmusic