The Music Education Council in November 2016 announced their longlist for the 2016 MEC UK Music Education Awards. Kathryn Deane, Chair of the judging panel said: “Judging these awards gets tougher every year, as standards climb. Our commendations of the 13 entries we have longlisted shows clearly that any of them could be our eventual winner.

"This is the first time we have publicly announced a longlist. We have done so because we know we have to lose many excellent submissions when we draw up our shortlist, and we wanted to make sure they were commended here first.”

The 13 longlisted submissions, and what the judges commended them for, are listed below.

Birmingham Music Education Partnership

Commended for: Work that begins with its users: a grounded, well-researched needs analysis that is paid heed to. So (as to be expected of Britain’s second city) provision is diverse; a singing strategy that covers Bollywood to Gospel; string quartet peer mentoring; and work with the OHMI Trust, providing instruments specially adapted for disabled players – and crucially, the ensemble in which these young people can play.

Bristol Plays Music

Commended for : A bold, cohesive, approach that is delivering impressive work across many areas including the flagship A new ambition for inclusive excellence; inspirational first access provision and a new El Sistema-inspired programme; and the continuation of its Beat Lab creative music technology programme. Backing this up is a detailed curriculum package for schools and a comprehensive CPD programme. And the hub is using Sound and Music’s Minute of listening pack to support the development of those crucial listening skills.

Devon Music Education Hub

Commended for: Its clear and straightforward approach, being an early pioneer of hub-type working. Devon has a clear understanding of its structure: a strategy group that is representative; a wide range of delivery partners sensibly deployed ensure broad provision. There is acknowledgement that rock and pop musicians can be gifted and talented, too. And the Mix festival continues to showcase the importance of creative music technology.

East Ayrshire

Commended for :The music! There is lots of it, and it’s wide-ranging. Rightly making best use of local resources, this authority has James MacMillan working with five lucky pupils in an in-depth composition summer school. But more: with Drake Music Scotland he also provided  composition workshops and performances with children with mid to severe educational needs. And more: songwriting workshops with BMX Bandits. Kickstart bands - almost two terms’ tutoring in a single weekend.

East Renfrewshire

Commended for : The sound engineering classes at the Saturday Music Centre, which stood out amongst a huge number of activities - not only as part of standard instrumental tuition, but also for its role in supporting pupils at risk of exclusion. Traditional music is similarly embedded in provision. And, quite extraordinarily: a relief work trip to Danbi in Malawi, where pupils taught and performed many Scots songs to Malawi children.

Hampshire Music Educaton Hub

Commended for: Impressive exploitation of its resources, to do more, better, sustainably. Quality partners lead to continuing work with Travellers, with looked after children, and with other disadvantaged groups. The hub clearly lives its twin mottos: “no decision about us without us;” “everyone can sing.” And with concerts for 3,500 pupils, it seems that everyone in Hampshire is indeed singing.

Lincolnshire Music Education Hub

Commended for: Work that recognises the challenges of this county, with its large land mass and east coast areas of multiple deprivation. The delivery partners embedded in the county are key to addressing these challenges, with work in hospitals, on music technology, and with looked after children alongside more traditional offers such as a Carmina Burana in Lincoln Cathedral. There is a strategic approach to curriculum support.

Newham Music

Commended for: Its young person-focused approach to needs analysis, with intentions for a youth forum and a parents group, and a central place on the East London Cultural Education Partnership. There are specific offers for marginalised groups such as training for  young, talented, Roma musicians in a culturally diverse and inclusive environment. There is some strong CPD provision.

Portsmouth Music Education Hub

Commended for: Its commitment and passion, coupled to a huge energy. Strong offers continue on every front: talented pupils are recognised in a dozen genres, from urban to opera by way of jazz and military. Those in challenging circumstances are supported through a “passport” scheme; there is songwriting for young offenders. Songbooks support the curriculum and link to the singing strategy. All is built on sound strategy: every partner is present for a concrete, known purpose.

SoundCity Brighton & Hove

Commended for: Breadth and strength of vision: not just a music hub, but an integral part of Brighton’s ambitions for wellbeing, employment and digital skilfulness. Youth voice is strong; so is peer learning for teachers and musicians. Music activity ranged across different sectors, producing diverse impacts in different settings: singing strategy focused this year on boys; tuition was provided in ten genres; the newly-launched Orchestra 360 is not only for young people with SEND, but their siblings and parents/carers too.

SoundStorm Bournemouth and Poole Music Education Hub

Commended for: Its evidence-based provision: detailed, rigorous wide-ranging. Its creative spirit: being situated on the south coast of England talented pupils are making links with University of the Highlands and Islands traditional music course. There was a competition to write a new football chant for Bournemouth's first year in the Premier League. A music industry programme for 13 to 18 year-olds. These aren’t just projects, they’re strategic projects.

Southampton Music Education Hub

Commended for: Its broad community-based approach, based on a very strong needs analysis. Family learning opportunities are key to its strategy for working with disadvantaged young people. A project using mobile technology to link young people in Southampton and the Isle of Wight improves compositions skills, develops communication through video blogging, and help schools and the community to make better use of mobile technology.

Tower Hamlets and City of London Hub

Commended for : Exploiting the resources available in east London – a huge range of partners, musicians and projects.. The emphasis on cross-arts work (the hub lead is the arts and music education service) especially with dance. Some interesting new music work in contemporary, folk, classical or world genres, and some cross-genre work too.