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Help Musicians appoints new president

British music industry charity Help Musicians has appointed Dame Evelyn Glennie as president.

Only the third person, and first woman, to hold the honorary post, Dame Evelyn succeeds composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who died in 2016. The first president, meanwhile, was legendary composer Sir Edward Elgar, best known for his Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (aka ‘Land of Hope and Glory’).

Glennie (pictured), a double Grammy- winner, is known as the first person to sustain a successful full-time career as a solo percussionist. She played the first percussion concerto in the history of the BBC Proms in 1992, and led 1,000 drummers in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games seen, globally by over 900 million viewers.

Graham Sheffield CBE, chair of the Help Musicians board of trustees, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Dame Evelyn Glennie into the Help Musicians family as our new president. Just like her two predecessors, Elgar and Maxwell Davies, Evelyn is a musical giant of her time. She is a trailblazer, whose energy and musicality reach beyond traditional boundaries to musicians and music lovers of all genres.”

“As we approach our centenary next year, we are honoured that Evelyn has joined us)

“Throughout her career, Evelyn has demonstrated a unique ability as a communicator and inspiration,” he adds. “As we approach our centenary next year, we are honoured that she has joined us to help spread our key messages around the development and welfare of professional musicians, as well as the importance and power of music.”

Formerly known as the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and later Help Musicians UK, Help Musicians helps artists and other music industry professionals in crisis with problems including mental health issues, isolation and financial turmoil.

It provides a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week helpline for people suffering with mental health problems via its Music Minds Matter service, launched in December 2017 in response to the findings of its Can Music Make You Sick? study released the previous year.


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