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Top honours awarded to head of music and arts education in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service

An honour awarded

Karen Brock, head of Tower Hamlets council’s ground breaking Arts and Music Education Service, has been awarded an MBE for services to education in the New Year Honours List.

Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES), was established in 2006, and has greatly expanded the arts and music education opportunities that are available to young people in Tower Hamlets.

Over 11,500 pupils are now learning musical instruments every week and we now boast the Tower Hamlets Youth Orchestra, two thriving music centres, numerous music ensembles as well as a Tower Hamlets Youth Dance Company and a Young Artists and Curators group.

Karen Brock said that she was “delighted” to receive the honour. She went on: “I and am very grateful that my work in education has been recognised in this way.  It is also a testament to the fantastic work carried out by my colleagues and the wider contribution that they have made to THAMES over the past decade”.

Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Services

The council’s art and music education service, which also leads the  Music Education Hub for Tower Hamlets and the City of London, has made sure that loans of musical instruments remain free for young people in education and that schools provide free instrumental lessons to all pupils, lowering the barriers for young people to make music. Many students have gone on to win scholarships to prestigious establishments including The Purcell School and the Junior Guildhall School of Music. More than 3000 pupils, and 955 hours of  music,  are taught by tutors from THAMES in our schools each week.

The Mayor’s reaction

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said: “I warmly congratulate Karen on this honour. It is a richly deserved recognition for the innovative work that the THAMES service carries out.

“We have excellent schools that provide a first rate education in the borough and it is clear that Karen’s dedication to delivering outstanding arts and music education is part of our success.”