Young Musician Support Award Scheme

How YMS can help YOU...

At the beginning of each year, schools and music teachers are invited to nominate outstanding classical music students whose family circumstances merit some financial help. The students must be under the age of nineteen and should have been studying for at least a year. They must show commitment and enthusiasm, as well as being gifted and talented in their instrument of choice.

In March, the candidates are auditioned by a panel of professional musicians and enthusiasts. The panel is often led by YMS Chairman and Artistic Director Ambrose Miller, with the Chairman of the Trustees for North Devon Theatres Richard Prowse.

While the candidate is auditioning their parent or guardian is invited to take part in an informal interview with other members of the YMS committee who ask a little about the candidates experience of music. They may also ask a few questions about the household that the candidate lives in.  

Our Awards

Our awards are modest but effective. This year, we were able to award a total of £3,500 to help twenty young people. Happily, a relatively small sum can enable a fifteen minute lesson to be increased to half an hour, a broken instrument to be repaired or a young musician to join in at a music residential and experience ensemble playing for the first time – all potentially life-changing.

Financial help is only one way in which YMS helps the young musicians of North Devon. We have also arranged:

  • Free tickets to classical concerts
  • The chance to work with visiting artists
  • Masterclasses with top musicians
  • Formal performance opportunities
  • Music events in the open air

Application for Awards Open for 2020

YMS funds are available to help young people (under 19 on 1st September 2019) currently in full time education and at school in North Devon. The fund is for promising young classical musicians, particularly those from families who are financially disadvantaged.

Awards are intended to support musical development by contributing towards the cost of tuition, the purchase of instruments and so on.  It is not necessary for the student to have taken formal graded exams although he or she should have been learning for at least a year.  The teacher will be asked to confirm the student’s enthusiasm, aptitude and potential as well as their ability and commitment.

  • The closing date for applications is 15th February 2020.
  • Teacher’s references should be received no later than 29th February 2020.
  • Auditions will be held at West Buckland School on Saturday 14th March 2020.

Candidates at Grade 1 and 2 standard will not be auditioned.

Candidates who have achieved Grade 3 or above in their principal instrument will receive an invitation to audition at West Buckland School on Saturday 14th  March 2020.

The audition itself will take 10-15 minutes according to grade. Candidates will be asked to perform two short pieces, including an accompanied piece if appropriate. They may also be asked to play scales etc at their grade level. An accompanist will be available on the day and the candidate will need to supply the music in advance. Teachers are most welcome to attend and to accompany if this is preferred.

The auditioning panel will comprise three noted local musicians, and will include our music mentor Emma Collingham. They will be looking for real potential and/or outstanding ability, together with enthusiasm and a broader interest in classical music beyond the chosen instrument. It is important that the candidate’s teacher or referee can confirm these attributes.

Whilst the student is auditioning, the parent(s) or guardian will be invited to discuss the student’s specific needs with members of the YMS Committee. No documents are required but please be prepared to talk about financial matters. Applications for awards are dealt within the strictest confidence. No information provided to YMS will be disclosed to any other person or organisation

You will be notified of the result by e-mail or post within a week or so of the audition. The award may be paid in two instalments to aid YMS cash flow. In the event that no award is made, YMS will make a contribution towards the expense of attending the audition.

The financial award is only one aspect of the YMS scheme which aims to develop the awardees’ broader experience through attendance at concerts, opportunities to perform and participation in workshops and masterclasses. Awardees are expected to get involved in these activities and payment of this or subsequent awards may reflect the degree of commitment shown through the year. 

If you would prefer to send your application in the post please download our pdf form below.