Frequently Asked Questions

Please check below for our list of frequently asked questions. If you have checked through the list and still need an answer please contact us.


General

What type of awards do you offer?

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust was established in 1958 by Lady Munster to help young musicians achieve their full potential towards securing careers as performers.  To this end the Trustees are happy to accept applications for:

1.  Postgraduate Study Awards

Open to instrumentalists and singers (who are looking to undertake performance based postgraduate study) as well as to composers wishing to undertake postgraduate study.

2. Instrument Purchase Loans

Open to young artists who received funding from the Trust towards their postgraduate studies and who have completed their studies and are either working in the music profession or looking to enter the profession.

3. The Stephen Oliver Award

The award is made biennially for a work which has been or is in the process of being written for music theatre, to assist with the cost of bringing it to performance.

Is there an age limit for applications?

No, there is no age limit for applications.  However, the Trust offers support towards postgraduate study only and will not consider applications that the Trustees deem to be for professional development only.

Do you have to be British to apply?

No, but you must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

The current policy of the Trust is to consider candidates (instrumentalists, singers & composers) for study awards who satisfy the following residency criteria:

  1. The applicant has either been resident in the UK for over ten years since birth or alternatively has successfully completed (by the end of the current academic year) at least three academic years of full-time study in a UK higher education institution (University / Music Conservatoire); and
  2. the applicant can prove that, based on the laws and regulations in force at the closing date for applications (10 February) and his/her personal circumstances, he/she automatically has permission to continue to reside and work in the UK following completion of higher education.

Commonwealth Candidates:
Reflecting the Trust’s 50 year record of supporting outstanding candidates from the Commonwealth, an exception will be made to requirements 1 and 2 in the case of applicants who are long-term residents of Commonwealth countries. These candidates’ applications should be for study in the UK only.

I have been working for some years, but would like to go back into full time education. Can I apply for an award?

The Trustees do not support study plans which they perceive to be for the purposes of professional development only.  However, if there are specific reasons why you have had a gap in your education, please make this clear on your application form.

I am working towards a doctorate on an MPhil or PhD course. Can I apply for an award?

No. The Trustees suggest that you apply to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for support (www.ahrc.ac.uk). You may also find other suitable funding bodies in our Funding Guide.

I am undertaking a BMus course. Can I apply for an award?

No. Please refer to our funding guide (Junior Section) for possible sources of funding.

I am looking for funding as a conductor?

The Trust is no longer in a position to offer support towards postgraduate study to conductors.

I am undertaking a course in Musical Theatre. Can I apply for an award?

No. The Trust does not support Musical Theatre courses. A possible source of funding information for you could be the National Council for Drama Training website: www.ncdt.co.uk.

I am undertaking a course in Traditional Music. Can I apply for an award?

No. The Trust only offers support for performance based classical music and jazz courses.

How can I be considered for the Recital Scheme?

Artists for the Recital Scheme are selected from amongst recipients of the Trust’s postgraduate study awards.  At audition each year, the trustees consider whether each candidate for a postgraduate study award might be suitable for the Recital Scheme and will inform the candidate accordingly when communicating the audition result.  If you have received a postgraduate study award and are interested in the Recital Scheme, please contact the Secretary (admin@munstertrust.org.uk).

I am looking for funding to produce a CD. Can I apply?

No. The Trust offers support only to classical and jazz music students, undertaking postgraduate performance based courses.

My child has been offered a place at a specialist music school. Can we apply for funding on their behalf?

No. The Trust only offers financial support to postgraduate music students undertaking performance based courses. Please refer to our Funding Guide (Junior Section) for possible funding bodies that may be able to help you. We also suggest that you ask the school in question what funding might be available.

Instrument Purchase Loan Applications

Who can apply for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Instrument Purchase Loans are only available to past beneficiaries of the Trust i.e. you have to have been offered financial support from the Trust towards your postgraduate studies in order to be eligible.

How do I apply for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Online applications are available from 1 January. The closing date of applications, video links and references is 10 February.

What are the repayment terms of an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Repayment Terms

Loans under £1,500 10 months’ grace + 3 years repayment period
i.e. 1/36th per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £1,500 to be repaid at £41.66 per month
Loans between  £1,501-£2,500 10 months’ grace + 5 years repayment period
i.e. 1/60th per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £2,500 to be repaid at £42.00 per month
Loans between  £2,501-£5,00 10 months’ grace + 6 years repayment period
i.e. 1/72nd per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £5,000 to be repaid at £69.00 per month
Loans between  £5,001-£10,000 10 months’ grace + 7 years repayment period
i.e. 1/84th per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £10,000 to be repaid at £119.00 per month
Loans between £10,001-£15,000 10 months’ grace + 8 years repayment period
i.e. 1/96th per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £15,000 to be repaid at £156.25 per month
Loans between £15,001-£20,000 10 months’ grace + 10 years repayment period
i.e. 1/120th per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £20,000 to be repaid at £166.66 per month
Loans between £20,001-£25,000 10 months’ grace + 12 years repayment period
i.e. 1/144th per month of sum loaned
e.g. loan of £25,000 to be repaid at £173.61 per month

What is the maximum amount for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

The Trusts offers interest free loans up to £25,000 but to past beneficiaries only.

Postgraduate Study Award

When/how can I apply for an award?

Applications will be available online from 1 January each year. The closing date for submission of application forms, video links and references is 10 February. You can download an Applications Help Sheet 2018 which contains all the information you will require in order to be able to submit your application form.

When are the auditions?

The Audition dates for 2018 are provisionally set as follows:

    • Tuesday 10th April 2018 – Voice & Jazz
    • Tuesday 17th April 2018 – Brass & Percussion & Recital Scheme
    • Monday 23rd April 2018 – Keyboard & Recital Scheme
    • Tuesday 1st May 2018 – Voice
    • Tuesday 8th May 2018 – Strings & Woodwind
    • Monday 14th May 2018 – Woodwind
    • Tuesday 22nd May – Strings
    • Monday 11th June – Composers’ interviews
  • You must be prepared to audition in person in London.

What is the audition process?

Your audition will last approximately 15 minutes.  You will perform for approximately 10 minutes and then this will be followed by a short interview during which you may be asked a variety of questions – about your finances, about the music you played, technique, interpretation etc.

Please note: you cannot offer at audition the same pieces you submitted with your application. You can however offer a different movement from the same piece e.g. a different movement from a sonata/concerto.

The audition requirements are:

  • Piano / Brass / Strings / Woodwind: you should prepare three contrasting (in period, style & tempo) pieces (which may be extracts of larger works), lasting approximately 5 minutes each, which show your particular talent to the best advantage
  • Piano Accompaniment: you should bring a singer and be prepared to perform two contrasting (in period, style & tempo) songs/arias (lasting no longer than 5 minutes each). You will then be asked to accompany an instrumentalist (provided by us) for a piece chosen by the Trustees – you will be notified of the chosen piece in advance of your audition.  You will not have rehearsal time with the instrumentalist.
  • Voice: you should prepare three contrasting (in period, style & tempo) songs/arias (performed in the original language) lasting approximately 5 minutes each.
  • Percussion:  you should prepare one piece on the marimba which shows your particular talent to the best advantage, together with extracts as set out in your audition invitation.
  • Jazz: you should prepare two pieces, contrasting in tempo and atmosphere.
    Jazz Pianists & guitarists: one piece should feature an unaccompanied introduction.
    Jazz Drummers: one piece must feature unaccompanied improvisation (4s, 8s or open-ended)
    Jazz Bass players: you are required to present the melody of at least one piece.
    Please let us know if you will be bringing a rhythm section or other performers with you and note that this will be at your own expense.

How much might I receive as an award?

Awards are made according to both merit and need. Depending on your audition and on how much of a shortfall you have in your finances, the Trustees may offer an amount of between £2,000 and £5,000.

Do I need to submit any references?

The Trust requires two references to be submitted online by the closing date (10 February).

  • One referee must be the applicant’s current teacher and the other referee must be a person with up-to-date knowledge of the applicant’s musical training, for instance the applicant’s Head of Department.

Please contact the Secretary +44 (0)1428 685427 or admin@munstertrust.org.uk if your referees have any difficulties submitting online.
References received after the deadline are unacceptable and the application will be considered invalid.

What recordings do I need to submit in support of my application?

SINGERS AND INSTRUMENTALISTS (except PERCUSSION – see below)

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube links to video recordings of two pieces contrasting in period, style and tempo.  The pieces should be approximately 5 minutes long.

Please note: all video recordings must be publicly viewable.

  • Two separate links are required – one for each piece.  They should be video recordings from within the last 3 months and should be unedited and recorded using a single position camera/recorder.
  • Poor quality video recordings will seriously compromise your chances of being offered an audition.
  • Do not submit two movements from the same work, or two pieces by the same composer.
  • A recording of a solo performance is preferred to performances of chamber music or with orchestral accompaniment. However, it is not acceptable to submit an accompanied piece without the accompaniment.
  • A live performance is not regarded as intrinsically better than a studio recording.  The recording submitted is assessed as a musical whole and so applicants are advised not to include recordings in which the performance standard of any accompanying part is significantly lower than that of the applicant.
  • Please do not include long introductions by accompanying instruments or introduce yourself or the piece.  There should be approximately 5 minutes of your performance.
  • If invited to audition, you will not be able to perform the pieces you have submitted with your application.  If you have applied to the Trust in the past, you must not submit a recording/piece that you have used to support a previous application.
  • Piano Accompanists/Repetiteurs – please include links to two video recordings of you accompanying a singer. Please ensure that the piano part is not an orchestral reduction: in other words, only submit a piece that is written for piano and voice.

PERCUSSION

To accompany your application form, please include two YouTube links to video recordings as follows:

  • One video recording should consist of the following pieces:  Timpani: Hindemith Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber AND Snare Drum: Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade (Mvts 3 and 4)
  • The other video recording should consist of the following pieces: Xylophone: Gershwin Porgy and Bess Introduction AND Vibraphone: Bernstein West Side Story
  • Please note: all video recordings must be publicly viewable.
  • Poor quality video recordings will seriously compromise your chances of being offered an audition.
  • The video recordings should be from within the last 3 months and should be unedited and recorded using a single position camera/recorder.

COMPOSERS

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube OR SoundCloud links to two recordings of recent compositions contrasting in style.

Please note: all recordings must be publicly accessible.

  • Poor quality recordings will compromise your chances of your application being taken further.
  • Two separate links are required – one for each piece.  These should have been recorded within the last 3 months if possible.
  • Do not submit scores unless requested to do so.

When will I hear whether I have received an award?

You will not hear whether or not you have been offered an award until after all the auditions have been completed i.e. not until early-mid  June.

I live/study abroad and so may be unable to attend a particular audition day. Can I still apply?

All applicants must be able to audition in person in London if called to audition.

I am a composer. What is the application /audition process for me?

COMPOSERS

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube OR SoundCloud links to two recordings of recent compositions contrasting in style.

Please note: all recordings must be publicly accessible.

  • Poor quality recordings will compromise your chances of your application being taken further.
  • Two separate links are required – one for each piece.  These should have been recorded within the last 3 months if possible.
  • Do not submit scores unless requested to do so.

If requested you will need to submit scores and recordings which will be assessed by our composition assessors.  You may then be asked to attend an interview during which you may be asked questions regarding your finances, study plans and more technical questions regarding your compositions. Whether or not you are offered funding will be decided after this interview.

I am applying for an award for piano accompaniment. What will happen at my audition?

Piano Accompaniment: you should bring a singer and be prepared to perform two contrasting (in period, style & tempo) songs/arias (lasting no longer than 5 minutes each). You will then be asked to accompany an instrumentalist (provided by us) – you will be informed of the piece to be played several weeks prior to the audition but will not have rehearsal time with the instrumentalist.

In addition to performing with your singer and the instrumentalist, there will be a short interview during which you may be asked a variety of questions – about your finances, the music you played, technique, interpretation etc. Your audition will last approximately 20 minutes.

I am applying for postgraduate study to more than one institution. Can I apply?

Yes, there is space on the application form for up to two different institutions, and/or private study, short courses, masterclasses.

I am applying for postgraduate study abroad and my audition is not until August. Can I apply?

Yes, you can apply for funding even though you have not yet auditioned. If funding is granted it will be conditional on a successful audition at the institution concerned.

I am on the waiting list, or have not yet heard whether I have been accepted on my postgraduate course. Can I apply?

Yes, if you are on the waiting list, or have not yet heard or even auditioned, you must still submit your application for funding by the closing date (10 February).  You need to keep the Secretary informed of the progress of your application and any award granted will be conditional on acceptance at your chosen institution.

I have already received an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust – can I reapply and, if so, how?

Yes,  you need to apply online in January. The same process will apply as with your first application. The deadline for submission of application, links to video recordings and references is 10 February.  If you have already received two awards from the Trust, you cannot apply again.

I have been turned down for an award in a previous year. Can I reapply?

If you were not offered an audition i.e. you were turned down without audition, then you may reapply. However, if you are unsuccessful in securing an audition the second time, then you may not reapply for a third time.

I auditioned last year, but was not offered an award. Can I reapply?

Failure at Audition: In order to make best use of the Trust’s funds and enable the maximum number of new applications to be considered each year, those applicants who have failed to obtain an award after audition will not normally be reconsidered in a subsequent year.

Students who apply to the Trust too early in their training, therefore, risk jeopardising their chances of obtaining funding at a later stage.

Can I appeal or get feedback about a decision?

The Secretary of the Trust will not enter into correspondence with applicants, except to amplify or clarify their applications and is not at liberty to give applicants any assessment of their chances of success, nor to discuss reasons for failure.

Applicants who enter into correspondence with individual Trustees run the risk of prejudicing their case.

The granting or withholding of financial assistance is entirely at the collective discretion of the Trustees and in no circumstances will reasons be given for rejection or for the selection of one applicant as against another.

 

I have missed the deadline for applications. Can I still apply?

No. We cannot accept late applications – the closing date is 10 Febuary.  Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted.

Can I use an original composition or arrangement in support of my application?

Yes but the recordings submitted should be chosen so as to demonstrate your abilities to their best advantage.