EMI Music Sound Foundation

EMI Music Sound Foundation

EMI Music Sound Foundation is an independent music education charity, established in 1997 to celebrate the centenary of EMI Records and to improve young peoples' access to music education in the UK & Ireland.


News archive for 2013

Wardle Academy aim high at the Schools Proms 2013!

Posted on: 15 Nov 2013

Wardle Academy, an EMI MSF sponsored school, Youth Band performed this week at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Music for Youth’s School’s Proms 2013.

The band performed in the Music for Youth National Festival in July and, after a fantastic performance, was then invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

On Tuesday 12th November, the band conducted by Mr Lee Rigg opened the School’s Prom with a performance of Old 100th by Vaughan Williams before performing Toccata from Suite Gothique by Léon Boëllmann.

Members of the band were also lucky enough to be interviewed by Classic FM:


Mrs Janet Emsley said: ‘This is the fourth time since 2000 that a band from our school has performed at the Royal Albert Hall. They gave a fabulous performance which was well-received by the capacity audience, it was a fantastic experience for the young people who were, as always, brilliant ambassadors for Rochdale.’



Posted on: 14 Oct 2013

The EMI Music Sound Foundation (EMI MSF) is delighted to announce that on Tuesday 8th October, we made awards of £135,000 to 249 applicants!

At EMI MSF, we believe that music is about so much more than just learning to play an instrument or read music, or spotting the protégés of the future. Music can bring a wide range of benefits to all children including self-confidence and motivation regardless of their musical ability.

The Foundation has been bringing music to young people now for 16 years and has donated in excess of £4.8 million to buy musical instruments/equipment and provide music support to schools in the form of teacher training, workshops and resource funding.

In addition, we have granted bursaries to more than 350 music students around the UK to help with fees and living costs at our 8 specialist colleges and organisations. We have recently added two new bursaries to our scheme, one with the English National Opera and the other at Centre for Young Musicians, London.

As well as helping so many young musicians, we are also always keen to stamp our mark on music education within schools and have forged brilliant long term relationships with 35 secondary schools across the country, having provided initial sponsorship to allow them to specialise in performing arts and music. EMI MSF remains the single largest sponsor of specialist performing art colleges.

Here at EMI MSF we are very excited about the future prospects we have in store and will continue to support all young musicians to the best of our means. For an application form for the next meeting please download this from the homepage.


Posted on: 10 Sep 2013

As you may remember we posted an article about talented musician, Sam Barnett who has now won the Grand Final of the highly competitive Mayor of London’s GIGS Big Busk in the Youth Category!

12 year old Sam, has been awarded a complete set of busking equipment from music makers Roland, after winning one of the competition’s three categories.  The Mayor of London GIGS Big Busk attracted a record 800 musicians from across the capital with the Grand Final held at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush.

It completes an amazing summer for Sam who has gigged across London, been interviewed and performed live on Jazz FM and featured in the London Press. This prestigious competition which lasted over 3 weeks of the summer aimed to find the best musicians in London. Sam’s category was judged by a panel of leaders in the music world including MOBO award winning saxophonist Yolanda Brown.

Sam says it was a wonderful experience:

“It was amazing to win.  I think now that I was quite young and inexperienced really when I started out on the competition circuit but I’ve now grown in confidence and experience and I think it shows in my performances.

The GIGS final was nerve wracking.  We were playing in the main foyer of the Westfield Centre (that’s where the stage was), and the judges had their mean ‘judging faces’ on; I it was agonising waiting back stage but when I went on and played Carmichael’s ‘Georgia On My Mind’, it went really well and I was thrilled to win; surprised to because the other musicians were very good.

I’ve really enjoyed the summer. I’m still playing with the band ‘Tomorrows Warriors’ every other Sunday which is enormous fun; so I think I’ll keep practicing but take some time out to celebrate and enjoy my new busking equipment!

My new Trevor James Signature Custom raw is an amazing saxophone and gives me confidence.  The instrument not only looks great, it gives me a new tone that is a huge boost to my sound.  Thanks to the EMI Music Sound Foundation, my dream came true and now I’m truly starting on my journey with the saxophone!”

Sam will also be performing next week at Lewisham Pensioners Day at the Broadway Theatre in Catford with the Lewisham Mayor attending as well as 700 pensioners!

To read more about Sam, please click on the following link: http://www.sambarnettsound.com 


Vote Sam Barnett for GIGS 2013!

Posted on: 20 Aug 2013

In March 2013, the EMI Music Sound Foundation awarded Sam Barnett £750 for a brand new saxophone, with which he has gone on to do great things!

Sam Barnett is a 12 year old musician based in south London and has been playing since he was 7 years old. He is currently taking part in the Mayor of London’s GIGS 2013 competition (London’s biggest busking competition) and has been playing all over London. Last week he was spotted by Jazz FM presenter Nigel Williams playing at Victoria Station and was whisked off to their studios for an interview and recording of “Georgia on My Mind”.  Sam loves performing and since getting his Trevor James Signature Custom Raw Alto Sax supported by the EMI Sound Music Foundation has played in events including Lewisham Live at Blackheath Halls, Lewisham People’s Day and the Nucleo Festival at the Southbank Centre in the Tomorrow’s Warriors Junior Band he trains with.

The public can vote for Sam to get in to the finals of the GIGS competition until 31st August at the following link:


You can also hear Sam’s interview at Jazz FM on his new website:



Benjamin Lewis writes to the Foundation to say thank you!

Posted on: 14 Aug 2013

In March 2013, EMI MSF awarded Benjamin Lewis £500 for a brand new saxophone and we wanted to share his lovely thank you letter with all of you:

“Thank you so much for my saxophone EMI - I love playing it!

I started playing saxophone four years ago when I started at my secondary school, Ulverston Victoria High School, and since then I have been primarily working on taking grade exams. I am currently working towards taking my Grade 8 exam this Winter term - this means a bit of hard work as this exam will fall just four months after my Grade 7 which I took in July and achieved a mark of 140, of which I was extremely proud.

I have recently been to Italy on a trip with the UVHS Wind Band playing a series of concerts around Lake Garda; it was a great experience and helped me to build my strength (and stamina!) The Wind Band give concerts at our local arts venue (the Coronation Hall) in the Summer and at Christmas. This year in January, it was arranged for the band of HM Royal Marines to give a concert with the Wind Band and I was one of the lucky 30 pupils chosen to play a section with them, with just an afternoon’s rehearsal - a great day! In early July, our music teacher also arranged for the world-renowned Saxophonist George Shelby to come to our school to give a masterclass, which I took part it. I learnt a lot and it was a fantastic experience!

I also play in the school’s saxophone ensemble, the Swing Bang - which gives concerts in and around our local area, and the UVHS Big Band. The Big Band won a competition to play at a national teaching conference at the Liverpool Echo Arena last December, we got a brilliant reception and most recently in July, the Big Band made it to the National Finals of the Music for Youth competition where we had the chance to compete against nine of the other top school/college jazz bands in the country at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Unfortunately, we did not win, but we received high praise from the adjudicators for our performance.

So you can see that I have lots of great opportunities for playing my new Saxophone, which I enjoy so much!

Away from the school bands, I also regularly attend evenings held in my local area called ‘Limelight Performance’ and are based around giving musicians of any age or ability the chance to improve their performance skills. Next year I hope to compete in the South Cumbria Musical Festivalfor the 7th year. In 2012, I was named as the festival’s Young Musician of the Year and I had another successful year in 2013, being awarded five first places in various classes and also two special awards - hopefully I can keep it up in 2014!

I also occasionally play concerts at my great grandma’s sheltered housing complex and also at other events, such as our local hospice’s afternoon tea fundraiser.

I really want to play as much as I can and to higher standards, the funding from the EMI Music Sound Foundation will certainly help me in doing this. I really appreciate it; thank you very much!”


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