Sherborne Abbey Festival is a self-funding charity; an event that is volunteer organised and run and one which gives back to the community and its audiences. With around 70% of all concerts FREE entry this means everyone, irrespective of means, can experience both world-class performances and local musical talent.

Proceeds from ticket sales are reinvested, to ensure financial security for future festivals and to support local music initiatives (especially those involving young people).

Since its inception, the Festival has raised more than £300,000 for charitable causes, scholarships and support of the music at Sherborne Abbey, including since 2015:

  • Provision of cushioned seating throughout Sherborne Abbey pews (improving comfort for concert-goers throughout the year)
  • Provision of cushioned kneelers for Sherborne Abbey Choir
  • Support of Sherborne Literary Festival (for recitals at Sherborne Abbey Primary School)
  • Grant for choral workshops at Sherborne Abbey Primary School
  • Grant to Sherborne Young Musicians Competition 2016 and 2018
  • Grant to English Tenor Kieran White towards his music studies at the Royal Academy
  • Music grant to William Ellis towards his music studies at Oxford University
  • Music grant to Baritone Benjamin Hewat-Craw to study Lieder in Germany
  • Music grant to Flautist Rosie Bowker for help to purchase a new flute and head joint
  • Maintenance support of Sherborne Abbey’s organ
  • Grant to Sherborne Abbey Choir to support singing lessons and tuition
  • Grant for a camera for Cheap Street Church – to provide on screen view for events and concerts
  • Purchase of a new upright piano for Sherborne Abbey Choir vestry

I am extremely grateful for the support from the Sherborne Festival, as without them I would not have been able to complete my Masters at the Royal Academy of Music and now be a professional tenor having sung in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and United Kingdom. I look forward to performing with Elizabeth Kenny at the upcoming festival in the spring and to the future.

Kieran White

I am very grateful to Sherborne Abbey Festival for its generosity in helping me to purchase a Lillian Burkart professional flute and headjoint in December 2016.

Rosie Bowker

I was extremely grateful to receive funding from Sherborne Abbey Festival over a number of years. The funds enabled me to take part in competitions and travel to auditions which would have otherwise have been financially impossible. From one such audition I gained a substantial role with a reputable German touring opera company. The funds also enabled me to acquire new headshots from a photographer which enhanced my artistic portfolio considerably.

Benjamin Hewat-Craw

The incredibly generous grant was a huge support during my postgraduate studies, enabling me to pursue new academic and performance opportunities. The grant helped me afford a wide range of books and music, as well as vocal tuition and society memberships. I am very grateful to the Festival Committee for their generosity, support and kindness.

William Ellis


We will consider applications for grants for individuals (aged up to 30 years), schools within the Benefice, or groups which involve young people and have Sherborne connections. Previous recipients may re-apply but there is no guarantee of a grant being awarded on a continuing annual basis.

Every application will be considered on its own merits, according to the following criteria:

• Without exception the grant must be used to promote or support music within the Benefice of Sherborne or the grant should further the development of young musicians who have lived in, studied in or have connections with Sherborne
• The grant must not be used to fund a salary, or pay for day to day living expenses of a music student

Examples for which a grant may be considered (though this is not exhaustive) are:

• Towards the purchase of a musical instrument or repair of an instrument
• Purchase of books or music for instrumental studies
• Support towards the cost of music related workshops in schools
• Towards cost of travel and accommodation for auditions, workshops, masterclasses, courses and interviews
• Towards the cost of professional photographs for publicity and biographies
• Towards the purchase of concert dress

Download Sherborne Abbey Festival Grants Information/Application Form

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