Young Churchill Music

What we do to engage and inspire young musicians

“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.

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:

  • Workshops run by internationally renowned musicians
    Workshop leaders have included 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 and The Lyra piano trio with Konya Kanneh Mason, to name but a few.
  • Churchill Music Young Musician of the Year Competition
    An annual competition for students at Churchill Academy, encouraging and rewarding technical excellence, performance skills and presentation.
  • Student composition project
    Introducing young musicians to composing for string quartet led by the Asana Quartet and an external composer.

“I never realized that chamber music could be such fun.”

Tom – student at Churchill Academy

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.

Churchill Music in Primary Schools

Additionally, we offer a number of initiatives in local primary schools, including the violin project and the Magic Music Days, offering an insight into the transformative power of music. This leads into the Power of Music Project that we are so proud of.

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.

Churchill Young Musician of the Year

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 given: 

  • 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

The next Young Musician of the year competition will be on Monday 29th January 2024.  

Our 2023 competition adjudication panel was chaired by Simon smith, Coordinator of String Studies at Wells Cathedral School.  He was assisted by Holly Greenwood-rogers, BA (Dunelm), MMus (RBC) and Adrian Trapp, MA Cantab.  For more information about this year’s competition (link to the news item giving the winners click here.

Power of Music Project

Film-makers and advertisers use music to influence our perceptions. How does this happen? How can we use it too? The project, aimed at Year 5 pupils, demonstrates how we can use music to positively affect the way we feel, express an emotion, change a mood, break down a barrier, help our learning ability – the list goes on. It is a completely fresh stance on how to use music, not as a specialist subject that needs individual tuition, but as a tool that all teachers and pupils can access in their everyday lives.

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 was the success of this project that in 2011, a further project was started in Sandford Primary School and later, with the help of a generous grant from the Thatcher Foundation, we were able to start the project in Winscombe Primary with music teacher and performing musician Alison Blundell. Professional musician Liz Whittam takes the project in Wrington Primary school.

“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.”

Sarah Joskey – former Deputy Head and music coordinator for Churchill Primary School, said,

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.

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


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


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.

Get your CD now!

Simply download the CD order form or phone Jan on 01934 852245. Help us to spread the news about The Same Flame. It is truly inspirational. CDs cost just £8.00 + £2.50 p&p. It’s also available on iTunes and Amazon, but please consider ordering through Churchill Music, as we then have no commission to pay!