Project information

Cheltenham Music Festival and Education Project

Cheltenham Music Festival will continue its long term vision to engage new audiences through outstanding performances; inspire young people in a dynamic education programme; and develop the talents of promising young musicians through high quality workshops and masterclasses.

January 2017 - July 2017

Charity information: Cheltenham Festivals

Cheltenham Festivals logo
  • Need


    Many people have little exposure to live classical music and feel “it is not for them”. Schools struggle to provide opportunities to engage pupils in music, and to develop students that show musical talent. Given the many benefits associated with music, eg development of children’s creativity, confidence and collaborative skills, there is a clear need to create musical experiences that engage diverse audiences, and which will inspire and support future generations of musicians and concert-goers.


    Involving well known, emerging and talented musicians we will change perceptions of classical music & provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate. We will also take children on a pathway of Music workshops; Festival performances; Masterclasses with inspirational musicians and development workshops. A legacy for this project will be via a year round development programme, Musicate, for non-specialist primary school music teachers, in partnership with talented music communicators.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To engage new audiences in classical music


    » Concerts that appeal to a wide audience, building on the success of the Music Festival's Proms series in 2014 to 2016.
    » An audience development plan building awareness and interest in the Festival, focussing on reaching new audiences in different geographic areas.
    » Ticket offers and local community engagement to encourage new audiences to attend the Festival.

    Success will be audiences who have never been to the Cheltenham Music Festival attending concerts, as well as other events at the Festival through our free, fringe 'Around Town'.

    Aim 2

    To inspire a love of music in young people.


    » A dynamic and creative Education Programme that gives young people inspiring opportunities to engage with classical music, often for the first time.
    » Involving inspirational musicians, for example, the iconic young violinist Nicola Benedetti and also the world renowned percussionist, Evelyn Glennie.
    » Work with our local Music Hub to promote opportunities for young people to make music after the Festival, particularly through our schools projects.

    Success will be over 1000 young people taking part, and a high proportion continuing to participate in classical music after the Festival through our local Music Hub and Musicate.

    Aim 3

    To develop the talents and ambitions of promising and emerging young musicians.


    » Workshops and rehearsals to develop and inspire young musicians of all abilities, culminating in performances.
    » Involving inspirational musicians, for example, the iconic young violinist Nicola Benedetti and also the world renowned percussionist, Evelyn Glennie.
    » Participation in our Musicate project where conservatoire students will partner schools to inspire a love of music and their own communication skills.

    Success will be workshop engagement and high quality performances at the Cheltenham Music Festival & Musicate, increasing confidence and stretches abilities of all those involved

  • Impact


    New audiences for classical music: demonstrated by the proportion of new audience members for 2017 events who attend in subsequent years.

    Increased engagement of young people in classical music: demonstrated by an increased take up of other musical activities run by the Festivals, eg Musicate, and our local Music Hub in subsequent years.

    Raised musical aspirations and confidence in local young people: demonstrated by the number of young people who continue to study music at a higher level.


    Fundraising income could fall below target but we have a strong track record of raising funds. There is a risk that we cannot attract young musicians to take part in weekend workshops and performances. This is mitigated by our strong relationships with our local Music Hub and schools, the success of our first weekend for young musicians led by Nicola Benedetti in 2014, which had a waiting list, and that our 2015 & 2016 Composer Academy had 100 applications, both years, from around the world.


    Donors will be kept up to date on the progress of the project through e-news/letters and invitations to events at the Festival. They will also receive a report after all the project and festival activities, including feedback from participants.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £72,214

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,870 Musicians’ fees Including a top British orchestra for a Proms concert and soloist residency at the Festival
      £6,615 Venue hire and production Venue, staging, lighting etc for a major concert and weekend of workshops and performances
      £22,050 Education programme Including workshops, rehearsals and concerts
      £4,962 Marketing Costs of producing online content and print
      £7,717 Full cost recovery Staff time for running project, education workshops and marketing

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Ticket sales £15,000 Conditional
    Trust fund £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Cheltenham Festivals attracts audiences from across the world to four annual Festivals of Jazz, Science, classical Music and Literature, which have been an important part of the region's heritage since the first Music Festival in 1945. Events will take place in and around Cheltenham, with the education programme running in schools across Gloucestershire. In 2014 over 25,000 people took part in our Education Programme, which continues to grow.


    This project will benefit over 1000 young people who do not normally engage in music, 140 young musicians of varying age and ability (from Grade 1 - Grade 8+), and thousands of people attending a diverse range of concerts (in 2014 more than 16000 tickets were issued). Gloucestershire is a county of extreme dichotomies, with some of the country’s most wealthy people, living alongside some of the poorest. We want our project to help reach a wider cross section of our local population.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Cheltenham Festivals creates world-class cultural festivals and year-round education programmes. Our Education team has a track record of delivering outstanding projects that unlock the talent, enrich the lives and career opportunities for young people. In 2014/15 we had more than 2,500 pupils and 200 teachers from 70 schools participate in music projects. All our creative music-making projects stem from a belief in the power of music to transform young lives; this project will build upon this.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Meurig Bowen

    Cheltenham Music Festival Director: overseeing the project, with a particular focus on engaging new audiences and media coverage.

    Philippa Claridge

    Cheltenham Festivals' Education Manager: project delivery and managing relationships with schools, parents and partners including local Music Hub.