Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Awards

Mared Williams

Help Musicians launched the Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Awards to help musical theatre students with the costs of final year undergraduate or postgraduate study.

The History

The Ian Fleming Charitable Trust was founded by Ian Fleming in 1972. The Trust’s initial focus was on supporting national charities in the field of support, relief and welfare, and charities involved in research on human diseases.

However, a performance of The Magic Flute by Scottish Opera gave Ian the idea of extending the support offered by the Trust to musicians. Ian says, ‘I was so impressed by the performance that I felt strongly that we should extend the Charitable Trust’s support to musicians.’

In 1980, the Ian Fleming Charitable Trust Music Education Awards were established in partnership with Help Musicians. Outstandingly talented individual young musicians have been supported through Ian’s trust every year since, with costs towards their higher education studies.

The Musical Theatre Awards were previously run on a nomination basis where Heads of Departments at select performing colleges put forward students who qualified for the grant. However, Help Musicians is now reviewing the Programme to ensure inclusivity and accessibility.

The new open and direct application process aims to empower the students to take control of their futures.


Who can Apply

This year our Musical Theatre Awards are open to students who are either wishing to complete their final year of undergraduate study or undertake a postgraduate degree in September 2020.  

Our awards are only open to students who wish to study performance at the following conservatoires or performance institutions: 

  • Arts Educational Schools
  • Guildford School of Acting
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Leeds College of Music
  • London School of Musical Theatre
  • Mountview Academy
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
  • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • Urdang Academy
  • Wales International Academy of Voice

Please read the full application guidelines before submitting your application.


From 20 April 2020 we will accept applications from students who wish to study a performance degree at one of the performing arts colleges above.

To apply for our Musical Theatre Awards, students must:

  • Be intending to continue into their final year of their undergraduate degree or study a postgraduate degree in September 2020. (ie. Mmus, MA, PGDip, Artist Diploma)
  • Have lived in the UK for at least 3 consecutive years at the start of the academic year in which they will be supported by the award
  • Be in financial need
  • Demonstrate that they have the musical potential and ambition to create a successful and sustainable career within the music industry


Help Musicians strongly encourages applications from students from underrepresented backgrounds, including those from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds, D/deaf and disabled people; and those from lower socio-economic groups.

Through our Musical Theatre Awards, we are unable to fund:

  • Non-music performance degrees such as composition, music technology, music education, music therapy, arts administration and music business
  • 1st and 2nd year Undergraduate courses
  • PhDs, MPhil, DMus, Doctorates
  • Study from the previous academic year
  • Applications from students not intending on studying at the above institutions

Please contact creative@helpmusicians.org.uk if you are not sure whether you are eligible or if you have any queries regarding our eligibility criteria.


How to Apply

To apply for our Musical Theatre Awards, you must complete our online application form

Please read the application guidelines for full details on how to apply, the process involved and audition requirements should you be shortlisted.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with the Creative Team should you have any queries. You can email us on creative@helpmusicians.org.uk or call us on 020 7239 9119. 


The deadline for applications is Monday 18 May at 5pm. Any applications submitted after this date will not be accepted. 


Some of our awards are made in memory of people who loved music during their lifetimes. If you would like to establish a scholarship, or make a donation to help us sustain these important awards, call our fundraising team on 020 7239 9114 or email fundraising@helpmusicians.org.uk.

Your contribution could make a real difference to a young musician. Find out more about how you can Sponsor a Rising Star.