Tue, 02 Jun 2020
Local music education charity Berkshire Maestros and West Berkshire-based funding organisation Greenham Trust have extended the Music Bursary Fund that supports West Berks schoolchildren with the cost of instrumental lessons by another three years.
Berkshire Maestros, based in Reading with a local music centre in Newbury, is the first-choice provider of instrumental lessons in schools across the area. Their business manager Sam Wyne said: “It’s fantastic that Berkshire Maestros can continue to work with Greenham Trust to help support families with the cost of instrumental and voice lessons. Music lessons should be an activity that every family can afford so it is vital that bursaries such as this are in place to make what we do as inclusive as possible.”
Greenham Trust CEO Chris Boulton added: “Following the success of the Music Bursary, delivered in partnership though Berkshire Maestros in West Berkshire schools, Greenham Trust are delighted to be funding the initiative for a further three years aiming to ensure that children who need financial support can still have access to music tuition and musical instruments.”
Berkshire Maestros began working in partnership with Greenham Trust to provide this bursary in 2015. Since then, hundreds of local schoolchildren have benefited from the termly subsidy, enabling musical talent to be supported and nurtured.
One recipient of the bursary is Newbury-based cellist Cole Bowers, who is in Year 8. His mother said: “The Greenham Trust Bursary enabled us to extend Cole’s cello lessons and his playing and confidence has gone from strength to strength.
"That once very shy boy is now part of several chamber groups and orchestras, plays annual solo concerts - raising over £2,500 for charity - and performed a solo as part of Newbury Spring Festival 2019.
"Music really has been life changing for Cole.”
From September 2020 the bursary will be increased to £60 a term. The scheme is open to 250 West Berkshire primary school pupils per academic year whose household income is below a set threshold, and not already receiving Pupil Premium.
Full information on how to apply for the bursary will be available on Berkshire Maestros website before the end of the summer term.