Announcing our 2023 RPS Instrument Purchase Grants

07 Sep 2023

We are pleased to announce £17,000 of grants set to help talented young musicians get the instruments they need to excel.

It's a startling fact that many music students have no choice but to embark on their professional training without an adequate instrument of their own. This can seriously impact their progress, and risk great talent losing its way.

Every year, we provide RPS Instrument Purchase Grants to young musicians who have succeeded in attaining a place at music college but don’t own an instrument worthy of their talent. Unlike many schemes, this is not a loan: it’s a grant that we do not expect to be repaid, recognising the many financial challenges that young musicians face. We established this support some decades ago thanks to the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation, created in tribute to the renowned conductor and RPS Gold Medal recipient. Today, we continue to draw on this fund for such a worthwhile purpose, and are grateful for further support from our cherished RPS Members whose subscriptions increasingly help us to help more young musicians this way, and the Thistle Trust, Kirby Laing Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Newly joining this circle of supporters this year is instrument insurance specialist musicGuard. As part of this, musicGuard is currently offering 10% discount on instrumental insurance to any visitors to the RPS website. Click here to find out more.

You can find out more about all the musicians we are supporting below. If you are moved by their stories, we invite you to consider becoming an RPS Member yourself. With a charitable gesture as little as £5 a month, you can play a proud part in helping more bright young talents to fulfil their calling. Discover more about RPS Membership and how to get involved here on our website.

Among this year’s recipients are 19-year-old flute player Lara Aisha Ali from Northamptonshire, now studying at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She says ‘To be able to purchase this flute with the help of the RPS really means a lot to me. Already, my sound is transforming along with my confidence. It feels as though I am finally transmitting my voice through my instrument. As I am discovering who I am as a musician stylistically, it brings me so much excitement that the quality of my new flute will allow me to explore contemporary techniques and sound worlds without limits.’

18-year-old violinist Isaac Williams from Gloucestershire, now studying at Trinity Laban, has been able to buy a new violin bow. He says ‘I'm really grateful for the generosity of the RPS in helping me to raise funds for a new bow. The great violinist Jascha Heifetz described the bow as a paintbrush, which the musician uses to produce different colours and expressions. I have been really enjoying exploring the unique tone and colours my new bow draws out of my violin!’

This year’s confirmed recipients are as follows. Click on each name to find out more about their musical progress and how the RPS is helping them.

Aaron Lo Hou Long - tenor saxophone
Abigail Roberts
- violin
Adam Steele
- double bass
Anna Turner
- oboe
Annabel Chadwick
- clarinet
Eleanor Granberg
- cor anglais
Emily Ambrose - bassoon
Ernie Moore
- flugelhorn
Gemma Ramsay
- cello bow
Isaac Williams
- violin bow
Jasmin Earle
- violin bow
Joshua Thurlow - electric guitar
Katie Jordan
- flute
Lara Aisha Ali - flute
Mariia Zhuravlova
- violin bow
Paddy Davies
- drum kit
Poppy Helmer
- flute
Samuel Balchin - trumpet
Saulo Roberto Da Silva Martins
- double bass bow
Sunny Anderson - tuba
Thomas Houghton - electric guitar

Applications for these grants are – in accordance with the original wishes of the Barbirolli Foundation – for first-year undergraduates and coordinated with each of the UK classical music colleges / conservatoires. Further information can be found on our website here.