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On 27 November, at the Royal Academy of Music,  Academy Principal, Professor Jonathan Freeman –Attwood presented Bournemouth & Poole, East Renfrewshire, Manchester, Oxfordshire and Southampton  with Diplomas of Merit for their outstanding commitment to jazz education in 2011/12; and Mike Ketley, Yamaha Music Europe – UK Managing Director presented a Diploma of Special Merit and a Yamaha Trophy to Devon by way of a reward for a remarkable record of six diplomas on the trot, four of which have been accorded special merit status.

Ivor Widdison, Chair of the Awards Panel and his colleagues on the Panel, Andrea Vicary, Trinity Laban College of Music & Drama, Dr Catherine Tackley, Open University and Music Education Consultant Bill Martin  paid tribute to the above Music Services and to those of Bolton, Glasgow, Lincolnshire and Southwark who in opening windows to the world of music reveal also the very special joys of jazz to their pupils and students.   

After the presentations a concert of the music of Kenny Wheeler was performed by the Royal Academy Big Band under the Direction of Nick Smart and featuring Henry Lowther on flugel horn. By common consent this was orchestral jazz of the highest order. It would be difficult to imagine better renditions than those delivered by the Academy Big Band.

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