For our 30th Anniversary, we're taking you behind the scenes and introducing you to the people that help us and guide us in our work, our Board of Trustees. First, we're meeting Jackie Newbould, who joined our board in 2015.
Music has been a central part of my life ever since I was conscious of hearing. It was recordings that brought me to it at a very young age. My parents would worry later on that I should ‘go out to play’ more - I did that too, but would be content to listen for hours to their old record player: all sorts - dance bands, musicals, some classics, and my favourite Peter and the Wolf was the one l learnt the word ‘again’ for. Didn’t understand many other words then, the music told the story. Some years later I found myself lucky enough to own a violin, play it well enough to get into youth orchestras and ensembles, playing my way through all kinds of repertoire opening up worlds for me.
More years later I found myself even luckier to be Executive Producer for one of the best ensembles in the land - Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. During the early years of BCMG, NMC (and its Blue Sheep) was also emerging onto the scene - a very fruitful and happy relationship between the two organisations producing some precious, treasured recordings of the most remarkable music of our times.
I love NMC’s philosophy: highest recording values, no compromises, dedication to composers of all ages and at all stages, grasping new technologies, tirelessly seeking out ingenious ways to engage as many of us listeners as possible - young and not-so-young - in the huge tapestry that is new music today. And if you fancy looking back a little for some context from the past, they do that too: they never delete so you can be sure to find that thing you’re seeking in their catalogue, and their charitable status gives them artistic freedom. No other recording company is able to achieve for contemporary music what NMC can. It was started by a composer and places composers at its heart: everything emanates from this, with a highly skilled and committed management team sharing that vision. You simply can’t get recordings of this quality and of this variety anywhere else. Their work is unique. And they may be based in London (in a tiny office in the East), but they reach all over the UK and far beyond.
When asked to become a Trustee it was the greatest honour. My experience at BCMG has given me tools to support them in bringing contemporary music to a wide audience in interesting ways, and through advocacy. Before I joined as a Trustee I was aware their remarkable ventures were borne out of shoestrings. Now I have a closer view I am even more in awe of their achievements and in such tough times for all arts organisations. If I was a millionaire NMC would be tops for me, but I don’t have to be one to give and make a difference. That’s a fine feeling.