Fundraising for music schools is an interest at Tarnside, having supported the £37m new music school at Chetham‘s some years ago. As such it was a privilege to work with the Yehudi Menuhin School as they plan for an ambitious and sustainable future.

Music schools recieve government support for pupils, of course, via the Department for Education, but all have other fundraising requirements to balance: funds to support students and performers financially, to develop better facilities and concert spaces, to undertake ‘outreach’ work and to meet the gap between the actual costs of delivering exceptional musical tuition and the income they recieve from government.

The Yehudi Menuhin School was founded in 1963 thanks to the vision and determination (not to mention effective fundraising) of an extraordinary musician and world citizen, the celebrated violinist Yehudi Menuhin. His vision was that the school would not only attract potentially the most outstanding performers of their generation in string instruments and piano, but that they would also become well-rounded and compassionate people. Menuhin was anxious that the School should take its music out into the local community and include the community in the life of the School.

The Yehudi Menhuhin School asked us to work with them on a Feasibility Review for a forward programme of fundraising. They wished to understand how their plans might be funded, and what part fundraising might play in the development of the organisation. Challenges included – as in many music schools – the multiple needs for fundraising and development, the many changes that were taking place in staffing at every level, and the need for a balanced and growing donor audience.

The report encompassed every element of their plans and operation, and underwent several evolutions in the face of significant changes at the music school.

“Our Development Committee were unanimous in praising the Tarnside’s report contents and approving its conclusions. It has allowed us to have a much clearer picture of what we need to do next. I want to thank you for the exceptional job you did. The end result is a truly useful and compelling piece of work.”

Alix de Mauny, Development Director, Yehudi Menuhin School