Applications invited for funding from the Alan Surtees Trust

A trust that aims to support and enhance the career of young folk performers has opened its 2019 round of funding.

The Alan Surtees Trust was established in memory of the co-founder and director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival
The Alan Surtees Trust was established in memory of the co-founder and director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Three awards of up to £1,000 each will be made to emerging musicians, dancers or singers by the Alan Surtees Trust, which was established in memory of the co-founder and director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival who died in June 2017.

Grants will be given to artists who show exceptional skill, talent and promise in their field and whose work is rooted in, or influenced by, folk and traditional music and arts. The funding can go towards a variety of uses included mentoring, new instruments and equipment, or recording a debut album.

The first round of funding in 2018 went to cellist Phoebe Jo Harty, who used the grant to attend music camps to be tutored by some of the world’s leading cello players in the folk genre; Anna Hughes, who bought a new violin to advance her playing career; and music student Louis Campbell, who purchased equipment including a microphone, pickup pre-amplifier and pickup to improve his live sound and the quality of home recordings.

Nearly 50 applications were received in the trust’s inaugural funding round last year. Trust chair Hannah James said: “We were delighted with the response and are hoping for more applications this year.

“Securing funding can be very hard for young amateur musicians and dancers and it can have a life changing impact on how their career progresses. We know there is a wealth of young talent out there and we are looking to support individuals and new music and dance projects in the folk tradition. Alan was passionate about offering young performers an opportunity and we’re happy to continue this work in his name.”

The trust has produced two compilation CDs to raise funds featuring artists including Billy Bragg, Oysterband, Martyn Joseph, Karine Polwart, and Fay Hield. Resound can be purchased through www.fishrecords.co.uk. It was also supported by a special fundraising DJ set by musician and producer Jon Hopkins.

Qualifying Criteria

Applicants for the grants should be aged between 16 and 30 at the time of application. They must live in the UK and not already have significant financial backing.

Grants of up to £1,000 per person will be given for mentoring and tuition from experts in the genre, hiring of rehearsal and creative space, costs towards new instruments and equipment, recording and production of a debut album, production of promotional materials or project research and development expenses such as artist fees or travel expenses.

The closing date for applications is April 26. Only successful candidates will be contacted and the three successful recipients will be announced in June.

For more information and to apply for a grant go to www.alansurteestrust.org.uk

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