Cheryl King Trust

“Enabling and inspiring all young people to make music”

About the Trust

Our very dear friend and colleague Cheryl King (Hirst) played alto sax and piano and was a wonderful musician and a very gifted and popular music teacher. She tragically passed away just before Christmas 2014 and is very much missed by us all.

Cheryl was committed to providing opportunities for all children to learn about music regardless of background, so we set up a trust in her memory to provide financial assistance for musical education for children and young people.

The Cheryl King Trust’s (registered charity number 1191604) core purpose is to provide grants and bursaries to enable children and young people aged 18 and under, who may not otherwise be able to do so due to their financial circumstances, to develop musically, in particular with individual or group musical instrument lessons.

The trust is currently providing bursaries to fund the following:

Surrey Arts Student projects

The Trust provides matched funding for a number of students in schools across Surrey taking individual and group music lessons through Surrey Arts.

Awards for Young Musicians (AYM)

AYM have been running their annual Awards programme for 18 years and to date have given Awards to more than 1,000 exceptional young musicians, many of whom have gone on to prestigious music colleges and become professional musicians. The Trust provides an annual bursary, “Cheryl King Award” which this year has been awarded to two talented young musicians, both aged 14 and from Surrey – one is a French Horn player, and the other a violinist. 

Future Talent Award

Future Talent supports gifted young musicians up to age 18 from challenging backgrounds who need guidance to enable them to flourish on their musical journey. We provide an annual grant to Future Talent which last year was awarded a young violinist, Carla, and we were delighted to hear of her progress:

“Over the last year, with your help, Carla has been able to receive one-to-one private lessons with her violin teacher and is working towards her Grade 8 exam – a wonderful achievement for an 11 year old! Sadly, due to Covid-19, Carla’s exam was cancelled however she has plans to take it again as soon as she can. Pre-lockdown, Carla attends Trinity Laban Junior Department every Saturday in Greenwich. As a direct result of the regular violin lessons Carla has been able to have, her achievement list has grown rapidly including becoming a member of The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and she was awarded a full music scholarship from September 2020. These achievements have been, in part, due to the direct support Carla has received from The Cheryl King Trust. “

This year’s Future Talent grant has been awarded to a viola player who recently got a distinction for ABRSM Grade 5 and has been awarded a music scholarship.

NYJO Ambassadors Schools Workshops

One of our goals is to encourage more young people to learn to play an instrument, especially in schools and communities where there is currently limited music take-up. We launched an initiative last Autumn, in partnership with Surrey Arts and The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), with plans for ambassadors from NYJO to visit a number of schools across Surrey for a series of performances and workshops. These are designed to introduce children and young people to jazz and improvisation, to inspire them to take up instruments and to grow the confidence of young musicians. With the programme all in place for visits this Spring to 12 primary and secondary schools, sadly the pandemic intervened and the visits had to be postponed. However it will take place just as soon as Covid allows…

How can I help?

We reply on help from people want to support the arts and make a difference in young people’s lives.

If you are able to contribute, we would be thrilled to receive a donation (please click the link below or get in touch with us by emailing Or if you know of anyone who might be eligible for a bursary please pass our details on to them.

And if you would like to stay in touch and get our occasional newsletters, please sign up to our mailing list here.


To make a donation to the trust by credit card or Paypal please click the Donate link below. As a registered charity we are also able to claim Gift Aid for donations (currently only for donations by BACS or cheque) – please complete the form below and send it Thank you!


The Trust’s current focus for which applications are encouraged are instrumental lessons.  Other areas of music education (including events which inspire or encourage children to take up lessons) will be considered on a case by case basis.

The Trust will usually award bursaries covering 50% of the lessons with families or guardians expected to provide the other 50% of the cost. Annual gross combined family income should normally be at or below £40,000.

The trust will fund group or individual lessons and/or participation in ensembles according to age and musical development. The trust will only normally fund participation in ensembles where applicants are receiving regular tuition (whether or not funded by the trust).

The trust is willing to contribute towards the cost of music grade exams fees where families or guardians meet the trust’s usual financial criteria or qualify for free tuition from Surrey Arts.   

The trust is not currently able to fund theory lessons or instrument hire or purchase. 

Applicants can be at any stage of music progression from beginner to advanced and the trustees like to fund a progression and ability mix.

Preference is given to applicants living in Surrey and failing that London or the South East   but applicants living elsewhere in the UK will be considered.

Latest News

February 2021 update: with thanks to Cressive DX , we have a new website on the way which will have more details about the trust, current projects, and ways we can all help. More on this very soon…

Music Links

“You & I” (Jacob Collier/Stevie Wonder) – Bristol Lockdown Big Band

Jacob Collier’s inventive re-imagining of Stevie Wonder’s epic ballad, You & I, arranged for large jazz ensemble by Ruaridh Wilkinson, Ruaridh Wilkinson, a former student of Cheryl’s. Our grateful thanks to Ruaridh for dedicating donations to Cheryl’s Trust.

Miss You Already EP

An EP of 3 original tunes from Martin Pyne has been released in support of the bursary. The tunes are performed by the trio Undercurrent which comprises Martin Pyne on vibraphone, Russell Jarrett on guitar, and Marianne Windham on the double bass, and was recorded at Beeboss Studios by David Beebee. The EP costs just £4 to download , with all the money raised will be donated to the trust.

Click here to listen to the EP

Cheryl’s Music

John Clarke has kindly collated some recordings of Cheryl playing sax and piano over the past few years. They include recordings of her playing with Alan Barnes at Fleet Jazz (Cheryl on piano, and also on sax playing with Alan), with Gabriel Garrick and Sam Walker at The Electric Theatre, Guildford (Cheryl on piano), with her quartet ‘Kind Of Blue’, and playing with local musicians, either on piano and alto saxophone.

You can listen to these recordings here:

There’s also some video footage here from the Celebration evening in memory of Cheryl’s life, including a clip taken of Cheryl soloing at a jam session in Summer 2014.