Grant Applications – Music & Musical Theatre


& Musical Theatre

Grant Applications for 2023

Open to young performing artists
from Australia and New Zealand
to support their advanced studies
in the United Kingdom
Applicants must be citizens of Australia or New Zealand, or domiciled in Australia or New Zealand and under the age of 35 (as at September 30, 2023). APPLICATIONS CLOSED FRIDAY 10TH MARCH, 5PM AUSTRALIAN WESTERN STANDARD (PERTH) TIME.

In 2022 the Tait Memorial Trust awarded grants of more than £69,000 to 20 young performing artists, and the group award to the Royal Ballet School, from Australia & New Zealand. Awards included an £8,000 award to fund the Tait Sir Charles Mackerras Chair with Southbank Sinfonia, London’s training orchestra, the award is funded jointly by the Estate of Lady Mackerras, and the Tait Trust; and the Richard Bonynge Award.

The John Frost Tait Musical Theatre Bursary – NEW AWARD

In 2023 we are delighted to announce a new award, The Tait John Frost Musical Theatre Bursary to honour the Tait’s important contribution to the development of the Musical Theatre artform in Australia and New Zealand. This award is a bursary of £5,000 towards the fees of a young Musical Theatre performer from Australia or New Zealand (please refer to Tait eligibility requirements below) studying at Associated Studios, London.

The award is wholly funded by a generous grant from Australian Musical Theatre impresario, John Frost AM. Applications for this award must be made directly to Associated Studios.

Click here to see their guidelines. Deadline for first round auditions was January 31st 2023.

Who we support

We also support several tied awards to the winners of major Australian and New Zealand competitions.

These awards include:

    • £5,000 per annum award, the Tait Scholar award at the Royal College of Music for the term of the degree. This award is administered by the Royal College of Music
    • Our recently announced £5,000 per annum John Frost Tait Musical Theatre Bursary at Associated Studios, London. See more above
    • A prize of £2,000 to the ‘Australian or New Zealand musician showing the most promise’ at the annual Royal Over-Seas League music competition.
    • and several awards of £3,000+ to singers, musicians, composers and conductors.
    • We gave multiple awards to young dancers under the auspices of the Leanne Benjamin Awards, to assist with their studies

Our online form is specific to individuals. If you wish to apply for an ensemble or a project etc please write to us at with a detailed proposal.

Applicants must be:

  • Australian or New Zealand citizens or domiciled/resident in Australia or New Zealand (Proof of this will be required).
  • Singers, musicians, conductors and composers must be under the age of 35 as at 30th September 2023.

What you need before you begin your online application:

  • A minimum of two recordings at least 25 minutes long in total – YouTube or Vimeo recorded no more than 18  months before the final application date, Friday 10th March 2023.
  • Scan of your passport, or another official document which will confirm proof of age and your nationality/residence.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Biography
  • Cover letter: that includes a description of the proposed course of study, institution, teacher and explaining why you want to pursue this course of study at this particular time, and how it will benefit your professional and artistic development.
  • For Music Awards
    • Two written references from musicians/artists of standing

FAQ for Music Applications

  • Please clearly label each file ie Biography, YouTube/Vimeo description, Photo etc.
  • The majority of awards will be paid directly to the educational institution, or to an approved service provider ie Teacher, Coach, Recording engineer on receipt of an invoice in Pounds Sterling into a UK bank account.
  • We ask that all Awardees submit a bi-annual report to the Trustees.
  • On acceptance of a Tait Award you confirm that you agree to perform in concert for the Trust during the term of the Award which is the 2022/23 UK academic year for no fee.

How should I submit my recorded application?

  • The Tait Memorial Trust now only accepts video audition files, apart from composers who may submit audio files. Please see the Video Guidelines below for more information. Applicants should ensure that the quality of the recording itself is as good as possible, as this is a crucial element in the assessment of applications, and that the recording is made in an environment suitable to your voice or instrument.

Repertoire choices for your audition recording?

  • The videos must show the applicant playing/singing as a soloist with or without accompaniment, but not as part of an ensemble, unless they are the featured soloist in the group (composers, conductors, accompanists, repetiteurs and organists, please see below).
  • This is entirely up to the applicant, but it is expected that the repertoire should be varied, to demonstrate the applicant’s strength in a range of repertoire from different periods and styles.
  • The audition material should not include more than one movement from a particular sonata or concerto.
  • Please do not submit videos of outdoor performances or anything with amplified sound. Three to four tracks may be submitted with a total length of at least 25 minutes for all recordings. Each piece should be on a separate video. A single recording should be no more than 15 minutes in length.

I am a Composer – how should I apply?

  • Composers should apply using the standard online form, and provide pdf files of their scores, as well as audio recordings of their compositions.
  • On the application form, please provide links to audio files on SoundCloud or Dropbox, and links to pdfs of the scores in Dropbox.
  • Composers may send in video links via YouTube if they have performance videos of any of their compositions.
  • If there is not enough space on the form to include links to your scores, please email them to James Hancock.

I am a Repetiteur – how should I apply? 

  • Repetiteurs should submit audition videos of them playing 2 contrasting opera ensemble scenes, in different languages (approximately 8 -10 minutes each), in which they should sing in as many of the vocal lines as appropriate.
  • They should also present one opera aria in which they are accompanying a singer; all three videos no longer than 25 minutes in total.
  • In certain circumstances, it may be possible to arrange a separate, live audition, at the judges’ discretion.

I am an Accompanist – how should I apply?

  • Please submit 3 to 4 videos of you accompanying singers and/or instrumentalists in a variety of repertoire, covering different styles and composers.

I am an Organist – how should I apply?

  • Due to the technical difficulties and expense of making a video of an organist in an organ loft, while also getting the best sound quality possible in the church or hall, organists may submit audio files if they are not able to be visible in the video, even from a distance. Upload your video material as ‘unlisted’ on YouTube (so that no one else can view it) and send links to these videos by email to James Hancock, as there may not be room for you to add them to the application form.
  • In certain circumstances, it may be possible to arrange a separate, live audition, at the judges’ discretion.

I am a Jazz Musician – may I apply?


  • Yes. The names of of at least two referees are required on the application form. They should both be distinguished members of the profession, such as your current or previous teacher, head of department or similar.
  • The written references should date from within the same year as the application they apply to, and should be uploaded to the form.
  • If you don’t have them they can be emailed by the referees to Tait Administrator James Hancock before the closing date, either typed within the body of an email, or on headed paper and signed, then attached to an email.

Video Guidelines

  • You should create your video audition in the most appropriate surroundings possible for your instrument or voice – for example a studio or concert hall with the appropriate acoustics.
  • No outdoor performances or amplified sound will be accepted.
  • Videos should have been made within the last 18 months prior to the closing date for applications.
  • Post-production manipulation of the sound quality is strictly forbidden and in any case detrimental to your application – we are looking for the most natural demonstration of your current ability.

YouTube or Vimeo Links. 

  • Applicants should upload their videos to YouTube.
  • Please send each audition piece as a separate video. See for details and help.
  • If you experience any problems, please contact TMT Administrator James Hancock.

How should I apply if I am a Composer?

  • Composers should provide links to their audio files on SoundCloud or Dropbox, and links to pdfs of their scores in Dropbox.
  • Composers may send in video links via YouTube or Vimeo if they have performance videos of any of their compositions.
  • If your files are very large, you can re-encode your video to make the file size smaller without reducing the quality of the video.
  • Details are in the Help section on YouTube, or try free encoding tool, Handbrake.

Obligations award winners have to the Tait Memorial Trust?

  • The Tait Memorial Trust also requires that the grant of a Tait award be mentioned in the artist’s biographical materials.
  • The Tait Memorial Trust requires that during your course of study supported by the award, you submit bi-annual reports of your progress to the Trustees, reporting on your activities and use of funds. This includes:
    1. i) An activity report describing the use you have made of the award, and the benefits you have gained from the activity.
    2. ii) A financial report on use of the funds, with supporting evidence.

Tait awardee benefits

  • The Tait Memorial Trust aims to arrange performing opportunities for its awardees, to support their career development. The TMT reserves the right not to include every awardee in this event if the logistics of the venue prevent their being able to perform. Other performing opportunities may also arise during the year or subsequently.
  • The Tait Memorial Trust at its discretion also aims to offer its awardees a range of additional non-financial support, including mentoring and careers advice.

Award value

  • The value of the awards varies from year to year, depending on available funds and the financial circumstances and study plans of the awardees.
  • In addition, there may be other, named awards available, of differing values. Stated values of awards in promotional literature are a guide only.
  • The Tait Memorial Trust reserves the discretionary right to vary the amount of any award and to make awards to more than one successful applicant as appropriate.
  • Tait awards are given for a single UK academic year only however in some cases awards can be offered for the term of your studies. However, you are entitled to apply for another award, subject to satisfactory completion of the requirements of the previous award, and providing you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Please note that the majority of awards will be paid directly to the educational institution, or to an approved service provider on receipt of an invoice in Pounds Sterling into a UK bank account.

How can I assist The Tait Memorial Trust in the future?

  • The Tait Memorial Trust will always wish to stay in touch with its Awardees and would hope that Awardees, having attained a successful professional career, will be willing to support the aims of The Tait Memorial Trust and enhance its ability to support new generations of young talent from Australia and New Zealand.
  • We also request that Tait awardees would be willing to perform for our sister organisation in Australia, The Tait Performing Arts Association.

Please contact us if you have any questions