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The Hackney Proms, September 2010

Since 2005, Hackney Proms has produced eleven concerts at the Hackney Empire, showcasing the talents of young – and often local – musicians, in particular the period instrument group, Battuta led by George Crawford. These concerts have been distinctive, combining popular works with less well known pieces, exploring little known aspects of the lives and works of composers through words and music. A key aim of the Hackney Proms is to bring classical music to a wider local audience with a family-friendly atmosphere at affordable ticket prices. Each concert has to be subsidised.

Up to now we have worked closely with the Hackney Empire who provided discounts in hire charges, as well as free publicity and box-office services. As you may have heard the Hackney Empire suspended its normal activities following the pantomime in January 2010. Future plans are still being developed, but it is clear that it will be obliged to operate a more financially stringent policy in future.

We are planning a series of three all-new concerts featuring Battuta in 2010-2011. The exciting programmes have been devised to bring a fresh twist to some well-known music by Mozart, Bach and Handel, with readings to set the scene, showing these composers in a new light.

The first of the three concerts, Mozart Inside and Outside, on November 28th, will take place in Hackney’s newly-refurbished entertainment venue, Stoke Newington Assembly Rooms in Church Street. This will be a dramatic presentation in the round which gives us a great chance to reach a wider audience in Hackney. But without our special financial relationship with the Empire, we will have to find considerably more of the costs ourselves. Organising and promoting concerts, even involving volunteers, is surprisingly expensive.

Here are the expected costs for each of the three concerts:

  • Venue hire: £1,500 – £2,000
  • Publicity: £1,000
  • Performers’ fees: £2,500
  • Keyboard hire & tuning, music purchase: £250
  • Total: £5,750

If we are to put on this exciting series of concerts, we urgently need to raise £10,000. We are delighted that we have already received a donation for £1,000 which ensures that the first concert can go ahead but we need further support to enable us to put on the other two. Please donate whatever you feel you can.

Even small contributions can make a real difference:

  • £10 pays for the production costs of 350 flyers
  • £40 pays for the sheet music for a single piece
  • £150 pays for the hire and tuning of a harpsichord for one concert
  • £200 pays for a musician for one concert
  • £400+ pays for a soloist in one concert

Donations can be made by visiting, or by sending a cheque to Hackney Proms. If you are a tax payer the value of your donation is increased by 25% through Gift Aid.

The Hackney Proms

The Hackney Proms is a not-for-profit group formed in 2004 to introduce more high-quality orchestral music to the cultural life of Hackney, East London.

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