hamburger Menu

Fresh Sounds

Two £1,500 bursaries and mentoring programmes will be awarded to two young Milton Keynes-based musicians or ensembles/bands to support their path to becoming professional musicians. 

About the Award

Each bursary can be used to pay for either training (including further education), equipment, recording, touring, marketing or promotions.  It is awarded as a grant and does not need to be repaid; it is a donation to the recipient. 

The mentoring programme will be managed by The Stables and will include tailored insights into the music industry.  Areas to be covered are likely to include informal and formal training plus advice on how to secure paid gigs, develop a fan base and earn money from writing, recording and performing music. The detailed mentoring programmes will be created with with the successful candidates in response to their own ambitions and knowledge gaps. 


  • You must be a musician who lives in the unitary authority of Milton Keynes - see map at the bottom of the page
  • You can perform any genre of music and do not need to have taken any formal examinations
  • You should be of a high standard and demonstrate that you have performed to audiences in a variety of ways
  • You must be aged between 16 & 25 years old on 7 March 2022
  • Open to young music creators who are songwriters, composers, artists, bands, producers or performers who are writing and performing their own music

How to Apply

Interested candidates must submit:

  • a written or video statement outlining why they are applying, what they will spend the funds on and why they think they should be awarded the grant. You must also confirm you meet the criteria of living in Milton Keynes and are aged 16-25 years. Written submissions must be no more than 500 words.  Video statements must be no longer than three minutes.
  • a photo of yourself performing
  • an example of yourself performing

You may send digital files via WeTransfer, Dropbox or provide links to Youtube or Soundcloud.

If you would like to apply as part of a band but do not have any recordings or photos of your group, please contact us to discuss alternative ways to make your submission.  Please adhere to the current government social distancing guidelines.  

Applications must be submitted by midday on Monday 7 March 2022 to with Fresh Sounds Application in the subject line. Auditions will be held on Tuesday 22 March.

The panel will be looking for: 

  • extraordinary musical talent
  • originality
  • a demonstrable effort for musical progression

If you have any questions about the award scheme or application process, please email Graeme Surtees, Head of Learning & Participation at The Stables

Background to the Award

This award has been made possible through support from MK Community Foundation (Christopher Hopkinson Memorial Music Fund) and The Wavendon Foundation.

MK Community Foundation is the leading grantmaking charity in Milton Keynes. They gave away more than £1.9 million in support to the local community in 2019, including Bursaries and Awards for individuals.  

The Wavendon Foundation was founded by Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine with the aim to assist those needing help in pursuing or continuing their chosen career in the performing arts.  

Unitary authority of Milton Keynes