Trusts and Foundations

Bristol Music Trust is the registered charity which runs Colston Hall and Bristol Plays Music, the award-winning music education hub for the city. Bristol Music Trust works closely with grant-making trusts and foundations to inspire the people of Bristol.

This vital support enables us to:

  • Reach every single young person in Bristol through our engaging music education offer that has inclusion and diversity at its heart
  • Commission exciting new works by internationally acclaimed artists
  • Develop emerging talent
  • Present a diverse and ambitious music programme for all of Bristol and the South West
  • Transform our much-loved but dilapidated Colston Hall into a fully accessible, world-class venue

Project in action: Bursary awards for Colston Hall’s Young Companies in Residence

With trust and foundation support, we have been able to establish the Young Companies in Residence at Colston Hall Bursary Awards for disadvantaged young musicians in Bristol. Talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds were offered full fee bursaries to be members of Bristol Plays Music’s flagship ensembles: Bristol Youth Orchestra, Bristol Youth Choir and Concert Orchestra.

“The bursary means that my daughter can go to a regular orchestra without worrying about whether we can manage the financial side of it. Writing the application and having it accepted really gave her a confidence boost. Like all of us, she sometimes doubts herself and to have people who are not her parents have this amount of faith in her is great.” – Mother of Flautist in BPM Concert Orchestra

“I am very grateful to be awarded this bursary. I take part in a lot of different ensembles, which gets quite expensive with my lessons as well, so the bursary will really help. I really enjoy coming to orchestra on a Saturday – it’s my favourite activity of the week!” – Cellist in BPM Concert Orchestra

“I love choir, I have made loads of friends and I feel better about myself. When I sing it makes me feel so happy, I am proud of what I can do.” – Young singer in Bristol Youth Choir

Project in action: South West Open Youth Orchestra performing at Fast Forward Festival

Fast Forward Festival is a pioneering festival at Colston Hall that celebrates music-making by both disabled and non-disabled professional musicians. In 2016 we invited the South West Open Youth Orchestra (the UK’s first disabled-led regional youth orchestra) to perform during the festival in The Lantern, as part of a live performance on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune show. One of the SWOYO performers is 21-year-old Bradley Warwick who has cerebral palsy and shares his story with us:

“I need to use a powered wheelchair to move. A Tobil EyeGaze mounted computer helps me to communicate. The technology also enables me to participate in playing music by using a special piece of software called Clarion.

As a young disabled person, I was lucky to be given support from primary school onwards to develop my skills. Now, I find myself able to have a career in music and perform as a founding member of the UK’s first disabled-led regional youth orchestra, which is supported by Bristol Music Trust. I’ve been honoured to play in front of large audiences and promote awareness about disabled music on The One Show.

Currently, very few young musicians with special needs or disabilities are able to recognise their dreams in this way. Across the UK, there is a significant lack of opportunities to develop potential. Low expectations for young disabled people make it difficult to take their talent to the next level. But I think that everyone should benefit from the opportunities I’ve had.”

Further information about our governance and finances, please see biographies of our Trustees and explore our Annual Reports.

To discuss our work and how you could help realise our ambitions, please contact Rosa Corbishley, Head of Development on 0117 204 7176 or at rosa.corbishley@colstonhall.org

We’re building a
world-class
music
venue for Bristol