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BACC for the Future: letter to the prime minister

Bacc for the Future - Arlene Philips

In case you haven’t seen it, here is a copy of the letter handed to Number 10 Downing Street last week by choreographer Arlene Phillips CBE and Nick Brook, Deputy General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, on behalf of BACC For The Future.

Download letter here.

Of course, the letter was signed by Black Dress Code. Research has clearly shown that music enhances all aspects of learning and life skills. In fact, a few years ago, the charity Musequality funded music projects to a cohort of seriously disadvantaged school children in Uganda. After five years in the programme, most of them went on to university. The power of music in education is undeniable.

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Gender-neutral uniforms

Gender-neutral uniforms - Marlene Dietrich

There’s a wonderful story in The Guardian this morning about 10- to 13-year-old girls in New Zealand refusing their traditional school uniform kilts, ‘saying the archaic uniform reinforced traditional and outdated stereotypes.’ I can’t imagine I was that coherent at the age of 10. But this is clearly a generalised move as a number of schools in the UK have already changed to gender-neutral uniforms. Roll on the Black Dress Code gender-neutral tux. I wonder how many orchestras would accept those? Would you wear one? Let us know.

Here’s Marlene Dietrich showing hers off to great effect.

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London Textile Fair

London Textile Fair

One of the most fascinating events in the fashion calendar is the London Textile Fair (11-12 January 2017 at the Business Design Centre). Packed with the most gorgeous fabrics from Europe and Turkey, the fair opens a window on what could be done for soloists if they so choose. It also provided us with an opportunity to find more fabrics for our own range. Please do get in touch if you’d like something a bit different.

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Bacc For The Future – help save creativity in schools

Bacc For The Future

It is more than one year since the Department for Education launched a consultation on its plans for a new English Baccalaureate (EBacc). The planned EBacc excludes creative, artistic and technical subjects. It will make a minimum of seven GCSEs (and as many as nine) effectively compulsory for secondary school pupils in England; since the average number of GCSEs taken by pupils is 8.1, this will leave little, if any, room for such subjects.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is calling on the Government to get its GCSE reforms right. It has started a cross-sector campaign, Bacc For The Future, calling for creative subjects, including music, to be valued equally to other subjects and to be included in the proposed EBacc.

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Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition 2016

Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition 2016

Black Dress Code’s stand was popular at the Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition this year (10 – 12 November).

Instrument makers, music publishers, shops, record companies, organisations and forums all gathered at the exhibition which took place in Blackheath Halls, a beautiful listed building. Visitors were treated to a feast of good music and some wonderful instruments like the one pictured here – and a chance to try on our stylish and comfortable performance clothes!

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Calling all men! Our Edward shirt has arrived!

Edward men's shirt

We noticed that many of you were quite upset at being excluded from our exciting new range of performers’ clothes so we decided to give you a treat. Our Edward shirt is now in stock.

Our new, luxury men’s shirt is made in a fine, two-fold cotton poplin with 4% elastane for added comfort. The shirt has extra-long tails and sleeves, which won’t ride up with playing. The front buttons are also covered with a placket to protect your instrument. We’ve thought of everything! This is a beautifully-made classic shirt that will enhance your performance and your wardrobe.