2015 was an exciting year in the Talent Programme team. We have been busy organising 193 auditions, handling over 700 applications for funding with at least 820 musicians benefitting through the Talent Programme in total.
Last year we redeveloped our opportunities for emerging artists, creating 2 new open funding schemes. In May we launched the Emerging Artist Fund in partnership with direct-to-fan platform Pledge Music and following 2 successful rounds we are now supporting 20 new artists, including The Lottery Winners, Fifi Rong and Elf Kid.
Another strand of funding developed this year is the Career Development Bursaries, which provide opportunities that will have a significant impact at a crucial point in a musicians’ career. Following 2 successful rounds we have supported a range of development opportunities including flamenco guitarist Samuel Moore, who recently wrote a blog for us about his project.
We are continuously inspired by the commitment and dedication of emerging artists and alongside the new areas of our work we have continued to provide crucial support for students in advanced training across music conservatoires in the UK. With an all-star line-up of panellists who kindly donated their time to assess the process, we were able to run auditions across classical, jazz, opera and Musical Theatre.
In 2015 we explored new partnerships including award winning folk promoter, The Nest Collective, who presented a new series of showcase events in association with Help Musicians UK. This gave selected artists opportunities to perform in front of key music industry figures and the opportunity for career mentoring sessions. Help Musicians UK also became a founding supporter of the Chineke! Orchestra (pictured), Europe’s first professional Black and Minority Ethnic orchestra, who premiered their first concert at the Southbank Centre in September 2015.
We also launched our Artist Development Partnerships and over 2015 this has proved to be a perfect way for us to support upcoming songwriters and bands across the UK, including the Merseyside based band The Sundowners.
We have created a playlist featuring artists who we have supported over the last year on SoundCloud. Please do follow us and enjoy!