COVID-19 Composer Awards

Chris Joseph

Sound and Music news
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The COVID-19 Composer Awards have been created by Sound and Music to support UK-based composers and music creators who have lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis. Sound and Music has repurposed the existing Francis Chagrin Award in order to respond to the needs of the composer community during this unprecedented emergency.

This is not a hardship fund. It seeks to award, in the first instance, 10 small-scale grants of £500 to composers and music creators looking to develop your skills during this time of quarantine and tiered restrictions, particularly with a view to supporting your longer-term ability to sustain yourself. This could be through undertaking, for example:

– an online course
– a programme of coaching or mentoring sessions
– acquiring and learning a new software package
– acquiring technical equipment integral to the creation of a specified new work or livestreaming opportunity (e.g. LED lighting panels or camera)
– a self-directed learning project (e.g. learning performance skills)
– undertaking a recording of existing work

We are looking for applicants who have a clear idea of the activity they would like to undertake and who will be able to pay for both the activity and their own time with the award. Please provide a full breakdown of costs that make up the full grant of £500. The application process is simple and should take less than 30 minutes.

Who can apply?

Composers, music creators and artists working in sound are eligible to apply who:

• are based in the UK (for at least 2 years) or a British Citizen
• are not studying full or part-time
• are not currently participating in a Sound and Music programme (or a previous recipient of the COVID-19 Composer Award in Round 1)

How do I apply?

Applications are open now. We are able to make 10 awards and are fundraising in order to be able to provide more.
Decisions will be made and awards will be granted in December in the first instance, and we will continue to review the situation and our offer. If you have access needs which would mean additional financial support is needed in order for you to undertake work as part of this award, please let us know in your application.

If you require access support in order to fill out the application form, please get in touch with the Executive Administrator, Alex Noble (contact details below).

In the application form you will be asked:

  • to upload a short biography (maximum 100 words)    
  • whether you need financial support for access-related costs in addition to the standard £500 award, and details of this
  • to upload a statement (in Word or PDF format – no more than ½ a side of A4) OR a video or audio application of no more than 2 minutes which:
    o briefly describes the activity you want to undertake
    o briefly describes why it is important to you right now; what difference will it make to you as an artist in terms of being better equipped to support yourself in the future?
    o provides a full breakdown of costs that make up the full grant of £500.                                         
  • to complete our Equal Opportunities monitoring form. 


Application Form.

Please let us know if you would like this document in a different format (

Deadline: 7 December 2020


What is the selection process?

Decisions will be made and awards will be granted by members of the Sound and Music team and in line with our Fair Access Principles.

The same criteria will be used to review all applications:

• the impact this support will have on your future career
• value for money (to maximise the impact of these awards)
• diversity of recipients, a breadth of types of work and geographical locations will also be taken into consideration

When will I hear?

We will let people know by mid-December (timing will be dependent on the number of applications we receive and need to review).

Due to the expected high numbers of applicants and the exceptional nature of this fund, we unfortunately will not be able to offer personalised feedback on your application. If you are not successful we will send you information on how many people applied, plus any general advice if you plan to submit another application in future.

If you have any questions about this Award, please do get in touch with the Executive Administrator, Alex Noble at

Can you support the COVID-19 Composer Awards?

If you have the means, please make a donation to enable us to offer more awards to more composers. Not only will 100% of your donation go directly to the selected composers, but the value of your donation will be doubled thanks to match funding from a generous donor. Visit this page to make a donation, or contact us if you would like to support in any other way. We are actively seeking support for this award to ensure we can increase and sustain this essential support.
In the first round, we were able to offer 13 awards thanks to the generosity of our donors. Read about the composers we selected here.

Other opportunities available

We understand that during this crisis many composers will be looking for opportunities and funding. Though Sound and Music is not a funder we are seeking to support composers where possible, and are also offering opportunities through the British Music Collection.

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