Baton and ball
Jeremy Pound has high hopes for a new charitable appeal that unites classical music and cricket… in name at least
All very wet. But fun. Millions watched on TV on Saturday as the floats splashed their way through the streets of the capital and Nick Anstee began his term of office as Lord Mayor of London.
Admittedly, far fewer of us – 50 maximum? – were in attendance at the Mansion House two days later, when Anstee launched his Pitch Perfect charity appeal. But there was nothing of the ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show…’ about this event. Far from it. As Anstee himself pointed out, the smart regalia and horse-drawn carriage of the weekend is one thing, but this is where the business of being Lord Mayor really begins.
So, Pitch Perfect, then. Classical music and cricket happen to be two of Anstee’s major passions, and he has chosen two related charities, the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO On Track and the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine, to support over the next 12 months. Given the potential financial clout the Lord Mayor’s advocacy brings – the post traditionally has close links with the movers and shakers of the City – this is great news for lovers of both artforms (and, yes, cricket is an artform…).
The Pitch Perfect branding and marketing are quite canny. The name itself works a treat on both fronts, and they’ve designed a natty little logo that combines a set of stumps with a triplet of quavers. Both LSO On Track and Chance to Shine also share a similar aim: to inspire children in deprived areas of London to develop new talents by providing them with decent facilities and guidance and tuition from the very best.
So far so good. But what will be interesting now is how the charities choose to combine forces and work to mutual benefit: for all the shared brand identity, the two still appear to be operating pretty much on their lonesome at present.
But just think of what might be achieved if someone with a bit of creative genius somehow brings the two together in a series of joint activities. Therein lie all sorts of opportunities for introducing cricket fans to music and vice versa: the potential for developing participation in both is huge.
What’s more, wouldn’t such a partnership be fun? Too many initiatives of this kind can be seen to founder in single-minded worthiness – this one, through its double-headed approach, has a real capacity for variety and colour. Let’s hope that it meets its full potential. We’ll be keeping an eye on the Pitch Perfect beat and ball with particular interest.
Jeremy Pound is the deputy editor of BBC Music Magazine. Or is most of the time. One exception is during the Ashes cricket series, when his desk is regularly found unoccupied.
Top image: Kevin Leighton