We are excited to announce that our CEO, Phil Castang, has been awarded an MBE for his services to music education.
Phil has dedicated over 25 years to music education, including teaching at Berkshire Young Musicians Trust and Highgate School. He started as a Sound Engineer and went on to co-found the International Guitar Foundation, was CEO of Newham Music Trust and Chair of the Bath Cultural Forum. He is Chair of the Music Education Council and spent 8 years as Director of Creative Learning & Engagement at Bristol Music Trust (Bristol Beacon) before being appointed CEO of national youth music charity, Music for Youth in July 2022.
Whilst at Bristol Beacon, Phil worked to drive forward inclusion and diversity, which led to the first Fast Forward Festival, putting accessible music-making centre stage for disabled artists.
In 2018, he founded the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence (NCIE). NCIE was established with funding from the National Foundation for Youth Music and advocates for musical inclusion at a national level. Phil has led ambitious programmes for young people and the community, including working with ‘Open Up’ and ‘NOYO’ to provide ensembles in special schools and into industry support for talented disabled musicians.
Recently, Phil sat on the expert panel advising the DfE and DCMS on the revised National Plan for Music Education.
Phil says: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award and continue to advocate for the role and value of music education and supporting the next generation of young musicians as CEO at Music for Youth”.
Music for Youth Chair, Margaret Willis, says:
“Phil’s award is a richly-deserved recognition of his contribution to music education and his innovative leadership and vision play a vital role in leading Music for Youth as the UK’s national youth music charity”.
Music for Youth is staging its annual National Festival: ‘Where Everyone’s A Headliner’ in Birmingham on 7th & 8th July 2023, featuring a diverse and eclectic mix of performances by the next generation of talented young musicians from across the UK.