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 not, however the Trust offers support towards postgraduate study only. This means that in general applicants are between 20 – 25 years old (instrumentalists/composers) and 20 – 30 (singers).

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.
  3. 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 courses.

How can I be considered for the Recital Scheme?

Artists for the Recital Scheme are chosen during auditions for postgraduate study awards each year. Online application forms to apply to the Trust for a postgraduate study award are available from 1 January each year. If you have received an postgraduate study award and are interested in the Recital Scheme, please contact the Secretary (admin@munstertrust.org.uk)

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, mp3s 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 to past beneficiaries only.

Postgraduate Study Award

When/how can I apply for an award?

Applications will be available online from 1 Janaury each year. The closing date for submission of application forms, mp3s and references is 10 February. You can download an applications_help_sheet 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 2017 are provisionally set as follows:

    • Monday 10th April 2017 – Voice & Jazz
    • Tuesday 25th April 2017 – Voice
    • Tuesday 2nd May 2017 – Brass & Percussion
    • Monday 8th May 2017 – Strings
    • Monday 15th May 2017 – Keyboard & Woodwind
    • Monday 22nd May 2017 – Woodwind
    • Monday 5th June 2017 – Strings & 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 / Percussion: 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 a string player (provided by us), with whom you have had approximately 10 minutes’ rehearsal time.
  • Voice: you should prepare three contrasting (in period, style & tempo) songs/arias (performed in the original language) lasting approximately 5 minutes each.
  • Jazz: you should prepare two pieces, contrasting in tempo and atmosphere.
    Pianists & guitarists: one piece should feature an unaccompanied introduction.
    Drummers: one piece must feature unaccompanied improvisation (4s, 8s or open-ended)
    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. So depending on your audition and on how much of a shortfall you have in your finances, the Trustees may offer amounts up to £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 a person with up-to-date knowledge of the applicant’s musical training, who may be the applicant’s Head of Department.

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

My mp3 recordings are more than five minutes long. Can I still use them in support of my application?

Mp3s can be longer than 5 minutes, however they cannot be larger than 5MB. The suggestion is that you submit a shorter work of higher quality, rather than compromising on quality in order to submit a longer work.
Please note: you cannot perform at audition the same pieces you submit online with your application!

MP3 Information:

  • INSTRUMENTALISTS & SINGERS  –  To accompany your application form, please upload two MP3s:
    • Contrasting in period & style
    • Recorded within the last 3 months
    • Not exceeding 5MB in size each
    • DO NOT submit two movements from the same work, or two pieces by the same composer.
    • It is better to submit a shorter piece/extract of higher recording quality than a longer piece at a lower quality.
  • COMPOSERS – To accompany your application form, please upload two MP3s:
    • Two recent compositions contrasting in style
    • Recorded within the last 3 months,  if possible
    • Not exceeding 5MB in size each
    • DO NOT submit scores unless requested to do so.

Recording Information:

  • It is better to submit a shorter piece/extract of higher recording quality than a longer piece at a lower quality.
  • Recordings should be submitted in MP3 format only – other  formats will not be considered, and your application will be rejected.
  • Please ensure that the file is not ‘protected’ and ensure that the recording level, and where appropriate the balance (e.g. between instrument & accompaniment) is suitable.
  • The music should begin immediately at the start of the MP3. Please do not include long introductions by accompanying instruments or introduce yourself or the piece.
  • Live performances should have applause cut.
    Please note:  that for this purpose a live recording is not regarded as intrinsically better than a studio recording.
  • Recording should not be  edited  –  please submit a one-off performance.
  • It is NOT acceptable to submit an accompanied piece WITHOUT the accompaniment – this will result in your application being rejected.
  • The recording submitted is assessed as a musical whole;  therefore applicants are advised not to include recordings in which the performance standard of any accompanying instrumental part/s is significantly lower than that of the applicant.
  • A poor quality recording WILL disadvantage your application.
  • All MP3s will be deleted from our server once the audition selection process has been completed.

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 composers. What is the application /audition process for me?

COMPOSERS – To accompany your application form, please upload two MP3s:

  • Two recent compositions contrasting in style
  • Recorded within the last 3 months,  if possible
  • Not exceeding 5Mb in size each
  • DO NOT submit scores unless requested to do so.

Recording Information:

  • It is better to submit a shorter piece/extract of higher recording quality than a longer piece at a lower quality.
  • Recordings should be submitted in MP3 format only – other  formats will not be considered, and your application will be rejected.
  • Please ensure that the file is not ‘protected’ and ensure that the recording level, and where appropriate the balance (e.g. between instrument & accompaniment) is suitable.
  • The music should begin immediately at the start of the MP3. Please do not include long introductions by accompanying instruments or introduce yourself or the piece.
  • Live performances should have applause cut.
    Please note:  that for this purpose a live recording is not regarded as intrinsically better than a studio recording.
  • Recording should not be  edited  –  please submit a one-off performance.
  • It is NOT acceptable to submit an accompanied piece WITHOUT the accompaniment – this will result in your application being rejected.
  • The recording submitted is assessed as a musical whole;  therefore applicants are advised not to include recordings in which the performance standard of any accompanying instrumental part/s is significantly lower than that of the applicant.
  • A poor quality recording WILL disadvantage your application.
  • All MP3s will be deleted from our server once the audition selection process has been completed.

If requested you will submit scores and recordings which will be assessed by out 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 a string player (provided by us), with whom you have had approximately 10 minutes’ rehearsal time.

In addition to performing with your singer and the string player, 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.