News: The Steve Martland Bursary Fund

Steve Martland

The Sound and Music Steve Martland Bursary Fund 

Sound and Music has launched a compelling appeal to raise £25,000 by July 2018 in order to create a much-needed bursary fund, in memory of the much-loved composer Steve Martland (1954-2013), offering financial support to young composers attending the annual residential Summer School for Young Composers.

This bursary will ensure that the Sound and Music Summer School for Young Composers becomes even more inclusive and accessible for more young composers from across the UK.

To date, over £9,000 has already been pledged, thanks to an exceptionally generous donation from Sally Groves made in memory of her husband, Dennis Marks.

The creation of the Sound and Music Steve Martland Bursary Fund is essential for us to ensure that we can continue to make the Summer School open and accessible to more young people, now and in the future, through removing financial barriers to attendance.

We are looking for others to join Sally and Sound and Music in making this a reality.

“I have an endless thank you for the work that Sound and Music put into offering opportunities for young composers like me that normally lack opportunity for financial reasons. I said it before but I don't think I've ever been as happy as I was for that week.” Summer School student, 2016

We are seeking further help and support from anybody who shares our belief that talent is not limited by background, and that it is a vital task, for sake of the future of music, to ensure that all those who wish to create and compose their own music should have the chance to do so.

So far Sound and Music has enabled over 500 young composers to attend the Summer School.

Your donation, however small, will transform lives.

“I just wanted to say that I got 3 out of 4 offers for undergraduate composition at conservatoires next year and I truly think the experiences of the Summer School itself were a huge part of what got me my places.” Summer School student, 2016


Your donation will go directly towards assisting young people to attend.

  • The actual cost per pupil of attendance at the Summer School is £1,200, and the fee to parents is £450
  • A donation of £225 creates a 50% bursary for one young composer for one year
  • A donation of £450 creates a full bursary for one young composer for one year
  • A fund of £25,000 means that we can ensure that there is never a financial barrier to attendance at the Summer School, now and in the future

In July 2018 the Sound and Music Summer School will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

We can think of no better way to celebrate than being able to commit, through the Steve Martland Bursary Fund, to ensuring that more young people from financially disadvantaged backgrounds can attend in the future.

“Having the opportunity to participate in the Summer School was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had…Without a Steve Martland Bursary, I would have never been able to meet and work with such amazing performers and composers, not to mention the many new friendships I have made.” Summer School pupil, 2016

If you are able to make a donation please do so here or by contacting Sound and Music directly at fundraising@soundandmusic.org


About the Summer School

Every year, 75 young composers aged 14-18 from all over the country arrive at the Sound and Music Summer School for a transformational week of music making.

They learn from and work alongside a team of world renowned composers, professional musicians and experienced educators in developing their compositional skills, be it in writing for instruments, writing for film, writing for non-European instruments, writing for voice, or writing for a jazz ensemble.

This is the only course of its kind in the UK and for many of the young people attending it is a truly life-changing experience.
For many of these talented young composers, it would not be possible to attend the Summer School without financial support. Every year, at least a third of attendees are on some level of bursary.

In 2015, composer Tim Benjamin conceived the idea of creating bursaries specifically in memory of his late teacher, the inspirational composer, Steve Martland, to support talented young composers from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to attend Sound and Music’s annual Summer School for Young Composers. From this, the current appeal has been born.

About Steve Martland

Steve Martland was the former Artistic Director of spnm – the Society for the Promotion of New Music – one of Sound and Music’s founding organisations.

He cared deeply about new music being open to everybody. Believing that composing talent could be found anywhere, regardless of class or wealth, he was passionate in advocating for the importance of diversity of new music and its creators. Steve was also passionately committed to education, running Strike Out, a non-fee paying composition course for children. He was generous, warm-hearted and huge fun to be with, and his many pupils held him in the highest regard.

“The education I received (at the Summer School) will be coming into use very soon as I begin studying composition at university this month, which again leads me to thank the Steve Martland Bursary. Coming from a lower income household and having the ever looming pressure of student debt, there was no possible way I could have attended the Summer School without assistance, yet what it also has done is settle my fears of whether pursuing an arts degree is really the right idea in order to succeed after graduation” Summer School student, 2016

We would like to thank the following contributors to the Steve Martland 2017 scholarships:

  • David Sefton
  • Stevan Keane
  • Alex Poots
  • Tracey Low

Our special thanks go to Sally Groves, who has been such a driving force behind the creation of the Steve Martland Bursary Fund.

Donate to the Steve Martland Bursary Fund

Visit Sound and Music's Giving Platform

Find out more about our Summer School 

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