Harpenden Music Foundation

ThLogo for Harpenden Music Foundation

About Harpenden Music Foundation

Our charity was founded in 1983 and is run by six trustees – Catharine Valdar (chair), Beth Fagg (secretary), Nick Threlfall (treasurer), Susanna Stranders, Tim Ball and Miles Golding. Collectively we have a wide range of experience in music performance and teaching at all levels, professional and amateur, and in business management, accountancy and law, and hold relevant professional qualifications. We offer bursaries to individuals for lessons and music college fees, and grants to musical organisations for local performances and events.

Previous Beneficiaries

Guy Johnson - Cello

Renowned cellist Guy Johnson was an early beneficiary

“The Harpenden Music Foundation were instrumental in helping to support me with a beautiful Italian Pellizon cello at a crucial time in my formative years. I went on to play competitions, study in the States and perform concerts with this cello. It was such a wonderful thing to be encouraged and supported by this special foundation, who continue to support music education at my chamber music festival at Hatfield House. Thank you for everything you have done for so many people over the years to help make dreams become a reality.”

Phoebe Wakefield

In 2013 we supported a local production of Benjamin Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde” that involved many local musicians, amateur and professional, of a wide age range. Some of the younger musicians involved have progressed to music college and the National Youth Theatre. One of the animals was Phoebe Wakefield, seen here peeping over the side of the ark

“Appearing in Noye’s Fludde encouraged my love of singing and performing. I am hugely grateful to HMF for supporting me since then. They helped me attend a Rodolfus Choral Course in Cambridge which opened many doors to me after they invited me to join the Rodolfus Choir during that week. HMF have also supported me at Junior Guildhall, studying voice and conducting; recently I was an ORA Singers Apprentice Composer. I am now reading Music at Royal Holloway where I have been awarded a Choral Scholarship. I really look forward to a time when I can perform as part of HMF and support the important work they do.”

Geoff Coates - Oboe

Geoff Coates is a successful professional oboist who attended St George’s School in Harpenden

“Aged 14, I was preparing to take Grade 8 and it was increasingly clear that the £600 student oboe I was playing wasn’t likely to serve me much longer. Harpenden Music Foundation generously agreed to co-fund a professional standard instrument for me. I went on to win a scholarship to Guildhall, and to build a busy and extremely diverse performing career, with the instrument HMF helped me to buy in my hand. I can’t thank HMF enough for their support. Without them I simply wouldn’t have been able to acquire the instrument I desperately needed to make music my career.”