Project information

Royal College of Music (RCM) Scholarship Fund

The RCM is one of the world’s great conservatoires, training gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors and composers. The Scholarship Fund aims to ensure that financial circumstances do not prevent talented students from fulfilling their potential.

September 2017 - July 2018

Charity information: Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music logo
  • Need


    Music tuition is expensive, as is the cost of living in London. Therefore the financial pressures on RCM students are acute and rising tuition fees deter many hugely talented students from applying. Our students have the ability and ambition to become the leading performers, conductors and composers of the next generation and to contribute fully to the worldwide musical community. A lack of financial support will, in time, drastically affect the cultural impact that music has on our society


    Generations of RCM students have gone on to stellar careers, but were only able to maintain their studies through generous gifts from donors. The RCM Scholarship Fund gives all talented students, irrespective of their background, the opportunity to complete their studies without financial worries at a time of ever-increasing tuition fees. This is vital if the RCM is to nurture the very best talent in the future, enabling them to study and thrive at a world-leading conservatoire.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We aim to increase the number of RCM students receiving scholarships from 50% to 75% by 2020.


    » Through a robust and varied fundraising strategy, we aim to substantially increase scholarship funds.

    Success will be attracting and offering support to a broad range of world class young musicians, based on their talent and irrespective of their financial circumstances.

    Aim 2

    We aim to increase the amount of funding offered to each individual scholarship recipient.


    » We will enhance the cultivation and stewardship of prospective and current donors.

    By enabling students to undertake further valuable educational activities and focus on music-making instead of having to work to support themselves through their studies

  • Impact


    The RCM Scholarship Fund underpins the RCM's success in creating long-term, sustainable sources of income to support its work. It will enable the RCM to recruit and nurture future generations of talented students and thus reinforce its position as a leading conservatoire in an international arena.
    The RCM will remain the first choice of conservatoire for any music student, due to the excellence of our teaching staff, the student experience and the opportunities it can offer.


    Without more scholarship support the RCM risks not being able to offer enough places to gifted young musicians, therefore losing tomorrow's world class musicians and the high reputation that has been established. Increasing this support is a strategic priority for the RCM. Relationships between donors and scholars are carefully nurtured through exceptional stewardship to develop a network of supporters and a vibrant and engaged community.


    All donors to the RCM Scholarship Fund are thanked and offered the opportunity to visit the RCM to see a variety of performances by accomplished musicians. Regular updates include mailings, emails and invitations to events, providing a deeper insight into the life and work of the RCM.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Scholarships We aim to raise the equivalent of 11 scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Background


    The RCM is located on Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, at the heart of the Exhibition Road Cultural Quarter - London's premier hub of cultural activity. Our neighbours include the Royal Albert Hall, Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art. Students have the opportunity to perform at world class venues such as Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, National Gallery and the Southbank Centre. Students are encouraged to embrace all art forms.


    Entire generations of gifted musicians from all over the world will benefit from the financial support of the Scholarship Fund. Over 60 nationalities are already represented at the RCM. All RCM students engage in outreach work through RCM Sparks, our learning and participation programme, bringing the joy of classical music to schools and community groups across London. Our doors are open to members of the public and we run a varied series of events throughout the year, most of which are free.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The RCM is a world-leading conservatoire, offering first-rate teaching with professors of international reputation, unrivalled performance opportunities and a vibrant creative environment which nurtures and challenges. We are third in the world for performing arts in the 2016 QR University rankings. Alumni include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen and Alfie Boe. The RCM's influence on the development of music in the last 130 years has been immense.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lily Harriss, Director Of Development

    Lily leads a team of 13 Development & Alumni Engagement staff and oversees fundraising strategy for the RCM.

    Emma McCormack, Scholarships Manager

    Emma is responsible for administering the scholarships programme, increasing scholarship income and developing relationships with donors.

    Louise Birrell, Head Of Regular Giving

    Louise leads the regular giving team, comprising of scholarships, membership schemes, regular giving and legacies.

Without the financial support that the College offered me, I would have found it almost impossible to make my way into the profession.

John Wilson, Conductor, RCM alumnus