On 22nd February 2018 Surrey Music Hub's Infinity and UP! Orchestra won the 'Best Musical Initiative 2018' award at the prestigious Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, dubbed the Oscars* of the arts education sector. In this highly contended category, Surrey Music Hub fought off competition from some fantastic national projects and was commended for innovation and dedication in bringing together a large range of partners and for designing a project that would have far reaching impact for years to come.

The Best Musical Initiative award was sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service and the awards were presented on 22 February, in a fabulous black-tie gala dinner and ceremony at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair. Created to celebrate excellence in music and performing arts education, awards were presented in thirteen categories, from new products and resources to hubs, music departments and individual contributions to the sector. The event was attended by Surrey Music Hub's Programme Manager for Inclusion & Music, Jim Pinchen along with UP! Orchestra's current Musical Director Sara Khoroosi and Infinity Orchestra's trainee music tutor Balam Mhrtab (pictured left).

Jim Pinchen (pictured central) said 'Recognition on this scale is testament to the hard work of a dedicated music tutor team and colleagues from multiple agencies both inside and outside of music education. We hope that this award will help us provide more opportunities for local young people who are experiencing barriers to life transforming music opportunities whatever those barriers are.

UP! Orchestra's current Musical Director Sara Khoroosi (pictured right) said 'As a British woman of Iranian descent it is an honour to be able to help young people with special educational needs and disabilities as well as those of similar cultural background to myself through this amazing project. I commend Surrey Music Hub for it's groundbreaking efforts to create projects that reflect local diversity and cater to the individual needs of the county's young people.'

Alex Stevens, editor of Music Teacher magazine and chair of the awards judging panel, said: ‘Year by year, brilliant teachers and educators work tirelessly to bring the life-enhancing opportunity of learning music to children, young people and adults in all walks of life. Music education may find itself under pressure, but it is reassuring to see that the sector is still coming up with inspiring ideas, useful initiatives and, of course, fantastic teaching.’


Dubbed the Oscars* of the arts education sector, over 280 industry guests including teachers, hub leaders, musicians and VIPs – representing the best and brightest in performing arts education –