Churchill Music

Promoting musical excellence in Somerset since 2007

Young Churchill Music

“Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of a good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”
Baron Pierre De Coubertin

Through close links with local schools and St George’s Bristol, Churchill Music has developed an extensive and varied programme of youth and community work, supported by generous donations from our Champions and sponsorship from the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust to which Churchill Music is proud to be affiliated. Please browse this page to find out what we’ve been doing in Churchill Academy, Local Primary Schools, and in the community.

Churchill Music @ Churchill Academy

We are proud to support many forms of music making in this 1,650-student school which was granted Specialist Performing Arts status in 2002. Churchill Music works with the school to provide:

Each year, Churchill Music launches its new season with a concert especially arranged to include either the work to be studied by the A-level students or an aspect of music chosen by the Churchill Academy’s Director of Music which will enhance the music GCSE and A-level courses.

“I never realized that chamber music could be such fun.” Tom – student at Churchill Academy

We have a Student Pass scheme which is currently open to all music students at Churchill Academy.  Students sign up and pay just £12.00.  This gives them free access to all classical and jazz concerts.


Churchill Music sponsors internationally renowned musicians to lead workshops in the schools. Workshop leaders the Barbirolli Quartet with clarinettist Timothy Orpen, Majestic Brass, Metropolitan Brass, the Carducci String Quartet (winners of no fewer than seven international chamber music competitions, The Aquinas Piano trio, London Bridge Piano Trio, Nicholas McCarthy, Gesualdo Six, The Lyra piano trio with Konya Kanneh Mason, to name but a few.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our day and it’s fantastic to see what can be done with determined and enthusiastic people on the case” Carducci Quartet

Churchill Young Musician of the Year 2021 

Winners 2020:  Maisie Slingsby, John Skeen, Chloe Phipps and Naomi Blowers

Open to music students of all genres at the Academy to encourage and reward not only technical excellence but also performance skills and presentation. Four awards are made: 

  • Churchill Young Musician of the Year,
  • Ursula Dornton Vocal Prize Sponsored by the Trinity Singers in memory of Ursula Dornton, co-founder of Churchill Music.
  • Churchill Music Audience Trophy
  • Churchill Music Junior Trophy

We are delighted to welcome Jonathan James as our Chair of the judging panel.  He will be supported by Trustee, Zoe Maitland-Round and Adrian Trapp.  Our audience vote for the student whom they feel deserves the specially commissioned Audience Trophy. 

The 2021 Churchill Music Young Musician of the Year competition will take place on Monday, 28 June at 6pm in St John the Baptist Church, Churchill. 

Ticket information:  With the extension of the COVID regulations we are delighted that this competition can and will take place on June 28th.  However,  to ensure everyone’s safety we regret that we are only able to accommodate a very restricted, invited audience of  close supporters.   

“I think this competition is great and it gave me a newly-found confidence in solo performances.”
James Scriven, former Churchill Young Musician of the Year

Student composition project

Each year, groups of students from Churchill Academy and Worle School work individually and together with the Asana String Quartet (all members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) and composer Sadie Harrison to compose works based on a dance theme. Their final compositions are performed at a special Showcase event by the Asana Quartet which regularly brings tears to the eyes as the students realise the incredibly high standard of their compositions. The project is facilitated and sponsored by Churchill Music. Pictured: Churchill Academy students with the Asana String Quartet.  

2019 Showcase of the student’s compositions performed by the Asana Quartet:  28 November 6pm; Churchill Academy Hall. All welcome.

Churchill Music @ Local Primary Schools

In close liaison with local Primary Schools, Churchill Music sponsors:

Churchill Music Violin Project

Having identified an urgent need for greater string provision at Churchill Primary School, Churchill Music approached local businesses, Churchill Parish Council and private donors to help purchase 10 quarter-size violins for the school. Started under the expert guidance of our former Patron, Vivienne Price, MBE, founder of the National Children’s Orchestra, and continued with Liz Whittam, performing violinist, we are proud to be providing an opportunity for every Year 2 pupil at Churchill Primary School to try learning the violin. Such is the success of this project that in 2011, a further project was started in Sandford Primary School with music teacher and performing musician, Alison Blundell.

Sarah Joskey, former Deputy Head and music coordinator for Churchill Primary School, said, “This project is giving these groups of enthusiastic children an unforgettable musical experience. The children are always so excited when it is their turn and they return to the classroom full of pride in their achievements. We are so grateful to Churchill Music for enabling this to happen.”

“It was fun. I liked helping my friends. I loved violin lessons. Thank you for teaching me.” Sujan

“It was nice. It was hard work. It was fun. It was fantastic and it made me happy and proud.” Brenton

“I love it. I enjoyed it. I liked it and it made me get out of lessons.” Scarlett

“I thought the violin was fun. We should carry on doing the violin. I really liked it when I was playing. I felt really pleased with myself and I think I’ve improved.” Ben


Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, a further violin project took place after school at St Martin’s Junior school in Worle for two years. The children were delighted and called it their “Violin Academy”.  


Magic Music Days:  Churchill Music organises, facilitates and sponsors or part-sponsors internationally renowned musicians to lead workshops in the school. Workshops have been given by the Pavao Quartet, the Thorneloe Trio, violist Richard Crabtree, the Drum Blondes, the Eden:Stell guitar duo, Majestic Brass (who combined music with numeracy), the New London Chamber Ensemble wind quintet, John Dalton, harpist, the Barbirolli Quartet, the Carducci String Quartet and the Aquinas Piano Trio to name but a few.

Churchill Music in the Community

Commission of The Same Flame

As well as supporting projects in Churchill Academy and local Primary Schools, Churchill Music commissioned The Same Flame, a set of five songs for choirs of all ages and abilities, to encourage communities to come together through music.

In 2012, Inspired by Baron de Coubertin’s ideals of Olympism which gave rise to the modern Olympic and Paralympic values (Courage, Determination, Excellence, Inspiration, Respect, Friendship and Equality) Composer, Thomas Hewitt Jones and poet, Matt Harvey created an uplifting and inspirational song cycle – ‘a manifesto for life’ which undoubtedly will stand the test of time.

Choral director, David Ogden was more than equal to the challenge of leading no fewer than six choirs: the Exultate Singers, the Trinity Singers, Churchill Academy Chamber Choir and the choirs of Churchill, Sandford and Wrington Primary Schools.

The commission was assisted by a grant from The National Lottery through the Arts Council England. Such is the quality of ‘The Same Flame’ that Boosey and Hawkes have published the work, with the individual movements available on sale, and the choirs have recorded it.

The sustained standing ovation at the World Premiere on 8 July 8 2012 was testament to The Same Flame’s great significance and appeal. The fourth song, All Weather Friends, was specially written for primary school children. Thomas’ catchy tune with Matt’s fun yet poignant message about the value of friendship in life is packed full of metaphors and teaches the word ‘friend’ in no fewer than eleven different languages. Available as an individual song, this surely is a ‘must’ for all primary school-aged children throughout the world.

We are confident that future singers and listeners alike will experience not only the joy of The Same Flame, but also its embodiment of those values, through witnessing communities coming together to SING! Churchill Music is extremely grateful to: pianist, Christine Stevenson, the individual choir directors and primary school teachers, to David Ogden for his inspirational guidance, and above all to Thomas and Matt.

Choral Director, David Ogden describing the work, “…fantastic words by Matt Harvey which Thomas Hewitt Jones has set in a very entertaining, vibrant and very energetic way and I hope that this piece will be taken up by lots of choirs around the country and around the world – it has lots of vitality and energy.
It is really quite different from many choral works that choirs sing because the words are very poignant, very dramatic, very inspirational and the music is so energetic, it has an element of Sondheim, and of musicals at times and at other times it has elements of great tenderness, great warmth and great power. That combination really works very well.”

Cate Kennell, specialist music teacher, Sandford primary school. “Singing in primary schools nowadays tends to focus on the enjoyment of it, the emphasis on discipline and disciplined singing is not always there. This was a great opportunity to teach the children what real real singing is all about. They have learnt so much from it not only from singing with the amazing David but from a new composition with absolutely exquisite words and music that so beautifully matches them. I think that they have learnt a lot more than just singing – they have learnt so much from this piece of music.”

Primary school choir members, “I’ve really enjoyed it. I thought that it’s a real opportunity that you wouldn’t get normally. It has really boosted my confidence in singing.” “It has inspired me to do a lot more singing and to do proper real singing.” “I’ve really enjoyed it. It has been an honour to work with David Ogden.”

Of the World Premiere: Ed Chaddock, Boosey and Hawkes wrote, “It truly was one of the most uplifting musical experiences I’ve had in a long time!”

Mike Andrews, audience member, “It was full of energy and joy, – a truly life affirming experience”

CDs can be ordered using the order form.

Schools concerts

Churchill Music sponsors a special, interactive and lively schools concert. Year 6 pupils from feeder primary schools travel to Churchill Academy to hear top-quality live music performed by professional musicians. Pupils are not only inspired by the music, but will also gain a feeling for the strong musical ethos of the next step in their education. Feedback from pupils, teachers and parents strongly indicated that this age group enthusiastically responds to classical chamber music.