Successful Applicants 2023

Chair of the trustees Dave Cowing said: “As ever, the judges’ job has been exceptionally hard this year with another field of many outstanding applicants. We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to submit their applications.

“There were some superb submissions made and, with the funding available, we have been able to support six very worthy recipients.

“As well as being able to support the personal musical development of the applicants, we have been able to back projects that will give a voice to different elements of the folk tradition and communities.”

Find out more about our 2023 grant recipients:

Bonnie Schwarz

Bonnie and her Good Habits bandmate Pete Shaw will put their funding towards recording five collaborative tracks celebrating established female and non-binary artists for their new album ‘Quarter-life’, due out in 2024.

Bonnie said:

“We are delighted to have received funding from the Alan Surtees Trust this year for our collaborative album project. We’ve been working on this project for a while and, with this funding, we are now able to take it to the next level.

“We are thrilled to get started and can’t wait to share our progress with everybody!”

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Caleb Richards

Music student Caleb Richards was given funding to buy an electric sitar to support his on-going study of the instrument, his live performances and to create music that fuses Indian classical and Celtic folk music.

Caleb said:

“A grant from the Alan Surtees Trust is incredibly beneficial to my musical education and developing career as the purchase of an electric sitar will allow me to continue my studies of the instrument at university, as well as seriously improving my live performances.

“I am incredibly grateful to have been selected and I would encourage everyone who is considering applying to do so. It is an incredible organisation doing incredible work for young musicians like myself!”

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Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne

The musician will put his grant towards recording, mixing and mastering an album that explores the relationship between English folk song and the musical traditions of the Caribbean and Black America.

Cohen said:

“It is wonderful to have backing from the Alan Surtees Trust to cover the recording costs of my new album which will explore the connection between English folk music and the musical traditions of the Caribbean and Black America.

“I hope this new album will help to draw attention to a little explored offshoot of the English folksong tradition and celebrate those Black singers and musicians in the Americas that for centuries sang, preserved and developed songs that started their life in England.”  

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Cori Smith

Viola player and music student Cori has been funded to buy a microphone that will support her live amplified performances and her exploration of electronics in folk music and also allow her to integrate aspects of live electronics into her practice and performances.

Cori said:

“I’m so happy to receive the grant from the Alan Surtees Trust! It’s going to be invaluable in my artistic career – a springboard into the gigging world. Being able to purchase a microphone for my viola will enable me to perform and communicate, expressing my musical ideas and sharing with audiences.

“I’m looking forward to playing gigs this summer with the confidence that having my own microphone will bring and hopefully passing something special on to audiences. I’m also incredibly excited for the doors the microphone will open into the live electronic world for me in the future! Thank you!” 


Faye Gosling

Faye has been supported to research, develop and deliver a pilot workshop to teach East Anglian folk traditions in schools.

Faye said:

“Thank you so much to the Alan Surtees Trust for supporting me with the development of a pilot project in collaboration with the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust. This project aims to bring traditional music and dance into schools across East Anglia, in a way that gets young people excited about music from their local area and provides teachers with useful resources that help them bring this music into their classrooms.

“I am so excited to get started on this project and am looking forward to developing my own artistic practice and gain more experience leading workshops with young people.”

Heather Ferrier

Accordionist, clog dancer and composer Heather will use her funding to finance rehearsal space and the purchase of software and a floor mic for a new project that will combine step dance and contemporary folk composition and ultimately lead to a four-track visual EP.

Heather said:

“I am really looking forward to getting started on this new clog project, as it has been something that I have been thinking about for a while now.

“I am looking forward to combining my skills as a dancer and composer together for this work and the support given by this grant will allow me to do so!”

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