As part of our three-year community development
programme The Music Experience, supported by BT and the National
Lottery through the Arts Council of England, Making Music undertook
a comprehensive statistical survey of its 1,800 members. The results
were made public at a Conference held in London during April 2000
and the main points of this research are summarised below.
Making Music societies contain 130,000
people or 0.3 per cent of the UK adult population.
40 per cent of the members of performing
societies are under the age of 45 years.
The majority of individuals are members
of voluntary music societies for 10 years or more.
95 per cent of Making Music societies
lose fewer than 15 members a year and most of them fewer than
Our members put on a total of 7,680
concerts in a typical year, or nearly 150 a week.
Our members promote 3,300 concerts
containing 20th-century music and 2,200 concerts containing music
by living composers.
Our members commission on average
233 new works per year and about 560 societies are actively commissioning
or have commissioned.
Performing societies have an average
audience of 214 and promoters an average audience of 144.
Nearly 1.5 million concert attendances
are achieved each year by Making Music members.
Our members spend an average of £8.2
million on professional artists and £695,000 with music publishers
in a typical year.
Our members employ no fewer than
16,000 professional artists per annum.
60 per cent of performing societies
and 57 per cent of promoting societies have to regularly fundraise
to make ends meet.
41 per cent of our members have never
received any public funding for any purpose which means that at
least 3,100 concerts are put on every year by our members without
any form of public subsidy.
The majority of our members receive
no sponsorship or less than £1,000 in sponsorship each year.
On average a ticket to a concert
given by our performing societies costs just under £8.
An average yearly subscription fee
to one of our members is less than £50.
Over one third of our members have
at least one participating member of an ethnic minority.
Around 70 per cent of our members
typically have ethnic minorities represented in their audiences.
51 per cent of our performers and
85 per cent of our promoters have disabled people in membership
and 94 per cent of performers and 87 per cent of promoters have
disabled people in their audience.
94 per cent of our members have more
women than men in their membership.
Over half (54 per cent) of our performing
societies do not audition.
The majority of promoters (46 per
cent) plan their concert seasons at least 18 months ahead whereas
on average performers plan a year in advance.
Most committees of performing societies
make artistic contributions to the planning of their concert seasons
with only 17 per cent leaving it to their conductor or artistic
The vast majority (83 per cent) of
performing societies use the same conductor throughout their season.
Only a fifth (22 per cent) of performers
always use the same venue with the vast majority varying the venue
due to issues of cost or availability.
Over half (56 per cent) of promoters
use the same venue for their entire seasons and the same number
of promoters stage concerts on the same night of the week.
A quarter of our performers (24 per
cent), or over 350 performing organisations undertake overseas
tours at least once every five years.
The average longevity of music societies
is 43 years for performers and 33 for promoters.
1 The Survey was published in October 2000. Copies
are available from Making Music. Back