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Rack n’Roll – Bilton Grange’s pupils enjoy their new instrument storage

Established in 1873, Bilton Grange is a leading boarding and day preparatory school for children aged 3-13, based just outside Rugby in 90 acres of stunning Warwickshire parkland.

Music is considered central to the character of the school with all pupils given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument from Year 1. “We teach mainly folk and classical” said Mark Penrose, Bilton Grange’s Director of Performing Arts “through a sequential aural Kodály-inspired programme.”

Bilton Grange’s commitment extends to nine individual teaching rooms and six other spaces for teaching larger groups and ensemble rehearsals. Last summer the school purchased new storage equipment from Black Cat Music & Acoustics including a Folio Cabinet and Cello, Violin and Guitar racks.

Mr Penrose stated, “The storage racks are used every day, particularly the violin and cello ones, and they have made the department look neater and more purposeful. Even the students were excited when they arrived commenting much neater everything looks! We are really pleased with the outcome and Black Cat Music’s customer service was excellent!”.

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You can read more about Bilton Grange’s music department here

Click here to view Black Cat Music’s range of instrument and music storage

Photo credit: Bilton Grange

A theatrical and international end to Black Cat’s busy conference season

At the beginning of June, Black Cat Music & Acoustics ended a busy run of five shows and conferences in four weeks at Alexandra Palace for the Association of British Theatre Technicians’ 2019 Theatre Show.

The busy Theatre Show included a symposium, organised by Black Cat alongside our friends from Wenger Corporation in America, titled “Future trends in design, technology and safety” and included presentations by Tom Stickland from the Theatres Trust and international safety inspector Oliver Leigers from Germany.

The show capped off a busy four weeks which included the One Voice Conference, the UK's largest voiceover event, held in London, the Music Teacher’s Association/MMA Conference at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire, the biennial Musikschulkongress in Berlin and the popular Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Conference in Manchester.

Speaking after the ABTT show and symposium, Black Cat’s Managing Director, Alice Dagger said “what a great way to end such a busy month! The symposium brought together experts from America and Europe to talk about theatre related topics such as virtual acoustics, mobile staging and systems integration.”

The Black Cat team will not be resting for long, four more conferences in the UK and Europe are planned in the Autumn.

Meet the team… again, and again, and again…

In a period of just over two weeks starting from the beginning of May, the Black Cat Music & Acoustics teams will be busy attending no less than four separate events in the UK and Germany. First will be the One Voice Conference, the UK's largest voiceover event, in London between the 9th and 12th May.

There the team will once again be demonstrating a working, self-install, voiceover booth following the success of last year’s conference where the booth saw use by an artist to record an urgent job for the US in the middle of the busy conference! Popular UK voiceover artist Peter “X-factor and Britain’s Got Talent” Dixon recorded a short video of the booth you can see here.

The following week between the 17th and 19th May, one team from Black Cat will be exhibiting at the Music Teacher’s Association/MMA Conference at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire whilst another will head to Berlin for the biennial Musikschulkongress.

Hot on the heels of this busy weekend will be the fourth event where Black Cat will be in Manchester at the ever-popular Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Conference on the 21st and 22nd May. This conference attracts over 400 delegates and 140 exhibitors and is always a busy but fun event.

If you're attending one of these events, please stop by to say "hello"!

Black Cat Music & Acoustics’ new European distribution centre opens in Liège

After months of planning, Black Cat Music & Acoustics are set to start distribution of its popular Wenger and own brand music performance equipment from Liège in Eastern Belgium.

Managing director of Black Cat, Alice Dagger said “Our European sales continue to grow, and it was important to us to open a strategically placed distribution centre so that we could service our customers in mainland Europe more easily. Liège was the perfect choice.”

Black Cat Music & Acoustics, founded in 1982, are the Master Distributor for Wenger in Europe and Russia and enjoy relationships with thousands of schools, music conservatoires and orchestras throughout the region. Wenger is unchallenged as the largest manufacturer of fully-guaranteed staging and music performance equipment in the world.

Next month Black Cat will once again be attending the biennial Musikshculkongress at the Berlin Congress Centre from 17th to the 19th May.

Black Cat Music & Acoustics’ Studiobricks self-install, practice pod proves a hit at London Expo

March saw Black Cat Music & Acoustics showcase a Studiobricks self-install, practice pod at the Music and Drama Education Expo at London Olympia. The exhibition is the ideal opportunity for industry professionals from around the world to network, attend workshops and view the hundreds of exhibitors displaying their products and services.

The pod/booth was set up by the Black Cat team in little over an hour and it proved to be a major draw for professionals who were impressed by the acoustic properties and sound reduction levels. Students too enjoyed getting in on the act asking their friends enter the booth, close the door then sing or even shout. Because of the ambient noise of the show, it looked as if those in the booth were miming!

Black Cat Sales and Marketing Executive, Justin Bird said “Our stand was busy on both days of the show and it was a great opportunity for our customers to see and try products for themselves. We not only had teachers trying out the practice booth but sitting on music chairs, comparing music stands and discussing personalisation of music folders.”

Enhancing the practice space at the Royal Academy of Music Museum


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When Gabe Gale, curator of the Royal Academy of Music Museum, set about creating a rehearsal area for students, she needed music stands which would not look out of place in an area surrounded by historic instruments. Black Cat Music came to the rescue and supplied four, solid rosewood, Regency stands which, as the photo of the Aster Trio show, really looked the part.

To many of us of a certain age, their first experience of a music stand was at school with a rather wobbly contraption made of thin metal which, if you tried to adjust for height or angle, would promptly collapse spreading your sheet music over as wide an area as possible. These stands also seemed to attract the attention from certain pupils determined to bend them into a series of artistic and abstract shapes.

Times have, fortunately, changed!

Whilst products like Black Cat Music’s best seller, the Classic 50 overcome the problems of our youth, sometimes something more ornate is required, where the stand not only needs to be functional but fit within the décor, almost like a piece of furniture.

In a note to Black Cat, Gabe commented “Thanks for these lovely stands, they really enhance the practice space”

Take advantage of our fantastic December offer

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Throughout December Black Cat Music is offering a stunning 20% Discount on the Black Cat LED Music Stand Light. Single LED Lights start at £10.22 + VAT each, or take advantage of the quantity discount breaks allowing purchase prices as low as £9.66 + VAT when purchased in quantities of 50+.

The LED music stand light from Black Cat Music simply clips on to your music stand. 4 LED lights (2 per gooseneck) provide bright, even illumination for your sheet music. Easy positioning of goosenecks, with individual light control, ensures lighting when and wherever you need it.

Full details of this month’s offer can be found at https://www.blackcatmusic.co.uk/music-stands-and-accessories/music-stand-lights/led-music-stand-light.html

Hit me with your best Schott!


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International music publisher Schott Music has had a presence in London since 1835 and has been at their iconic Great Marlborough Street address since 1908. Uniquely for a company best known for sheet music, it offers spaces for hire for practice or teaching, a fabulous resource for central London.

Recently Schott added two new spaces in the form of Black Cat Acoustics’ Studiobricks Pro sound isolation booths each with a piano and suitable for up to two musicians or a musician and teacher. Black Cat had to customise the standard booths to fit into the spaces with a lower-than-normal ceiling height but the result (as the photos show) look amazing.

Following the installation by Black Cat’s own acoustics team, the staff at their Kent office had another surprise, Schott have a tradition of naming their practice areas after famous composers that were published by them, so, what were Schott going to call these new spaces?

Schott elected to name the two rooms after Australian born Percy Grainger and Liverpudlian Steve Martland, two distinct and interesting choices.

Andrew Dunbar-Nasmith of Schott said about the new spaces “We are so pleased with the design and performance of the Studiobricks booths and these two areas are an important addition to our spaces”.

There’s still time to take advantage of our Fantastic July Special Offer


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It’s not too late to take advantage of our July Special Offer, Black Cat Music is offering an amazing 15% discount on their best-selling Classic 50 Music Stand by Wenger.

The ever popular Classic 50 Music Stand is a wobble-free, elegant and lightweight stand with no fiddly knobs or screws. It is tough enough to handle the hardships of regular classroom use thanks to a formulation of advanced polymers, offering inherent tensile strength that will not bend or dent like metal stands. The scratch resistant desk surface also incorporates a unique recess for keeping pencils in place. The patented one-hand height adjustment of the music desk is simplicity itself, requiring no screw or locking collar adjustments.

Single stand prices start from £47.21 each or take advantage of quantity discount breaks allowing purchase prices from as low as £40.13 each when purchased in quantities of 100 or more.

Full details of this monthly offer, as well as future offers, can be found at https://www.blackcatmusic.co.uk/

Black Cat Music Exhibit at the One Voice Conference

Black Cat Music were delighted to both sponsor and exhibit at the first ever One Voice Conference which took place in Dockland Riverside, London, on the 27-28th April. The One Voice Conference was the perfect opportunity for Voice Over Professionals from around the word, to come together and attend a wide range of Key Talks and Workshops, as well as attend the One Voice Awards.

Black Cat brought our Studiobricks One VO Edition booth to the exhibition which was set up as a live and fully functioning voice over recording booth. This meant that delegates could use and take home the complete user experience. A Lewitt 440 microphone was installed and recording system set up on the VO addition package which we were very happy to receive such positive feedback for. We were fully booked on our schedule even before we arrived, and the extra slots in-between were fully attended by the amazing talent who had last minute work come in and needed to send off auditions or professional grade work at very short notice.

Black Cat Music was happy to be able to ensure that voice over artists didn’t miss out on any working opportunity as they could pop in, arrange a time and work whilst receiving vital training and workshops.

We had the absolute pleasure of working with Peter Citriano who’s work can be heard worldwide from his work on shows such as America's Got Talent, The Emmy Awards, The Grammys, Hollywood Game Night and many more. He used our booth for some work that he sent off then and there.

We were also overjoyed to receive such a wonderful live endorsement from such a highly esteemed talent as Peter Dixon who recorded the attached video.

We thoroughly enjoyed the hugely varied and diverse amount of talent that the Voice Over industry provides and were extremely pleased that the Awards Ceremony was such a success. We really look forward to working with the Gravy for the Brain Team and the One Voice Conference in the future!

Black Cat Music is the exclusive UK distributor for Studiobricks sound-isolation booths. For more information please visit us at https://www.acousticabins.com/ alternatively Tel: 01892 619719 or email at sales@blackcatmusic.com.