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TL Innovation Award is an exciting opportunity for final-year undergraduates to pitch an idea for an original project.

We support successful candidates to turn their idea into a reality by providing funding, mentoring from Trinity Laban alumni, and expert guidance from industry professionals.

Launched in 2019 and open to all final-year undergraduate students at the Conservatoire, the competition provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists to access a financial award and bespoke professional development support from TL Alumni as they establish themselves within one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy.

The Award is made possible by The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

Catch up with the 2020 recipients…

Gabriel Askew

Gabriel Askew

Performer and arranger Gabriel  has created the first video in Big Smoke Brass UK’s new collaborative digital series which sees the band collaborate across genres with different artists including dancers and choreographers.

‘I knew you were trouble’ was created with musical theatre student Chloe Champken.

Having the financial freedom granted to me by the Innovation Award has provided me with the opportunity to run my first professional project which has opened up my mind and expanded my ambition for running both similar and very different projects throughout the next stage of my career.”

Gabriel was mentored by TL alum Matthew Roberts, trumpeter, composer, conductor and Member of Gentleman’s Dub Club.

Watch 'I knew you were trouble'
Hayley Huggett innovation award

Hayley Huggett

Musical Theatre alum Hayley set up Tilley Peacock Productions, an innovative theatre company working to produce original productions and workshops for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability. As part of this venture she created an online animated version of her original musical  Dotty’s Dilemma. Written  with fellow alum James  Dodd,  the show  is about discovering self-worth and celebrating individuality.

I am so grateful I applied and received the TL innovation award, the award helped me develop from a graduate to a professional and gain invaluable industry contacts and turn my passion of making theatre into a profession.”

Hayley was mentored by TL alum Jessica  Santer, Head of Creative Learning at Southbank Centre .

Discover Tilley Peacock Productions
Jess Price innovation award

Jess Price 

Double bassist Jess Price planned to present Eruption, an  event  series drawing on traditional practises and themes to produce new music and dance work showcasing the benefits of classical music training within  non-traditional  contexts. 

Due to Covid restrictions, Eruption was postponed. Instead, Jess moved forward with creating promotional resources with her pyrotechnic performance group Black Magma.

“My experience with the Innovation Award has given me the confidence to explore a new, varied and versatile kind of music career. My mentor provided me with knowledge from the industry, inspiration, guidance through challenges and a confidence in my own potential. ”

Jess was mentored by TL alum and singer Georgi Mottram, who is Director of leading classical crossover group Ida Girls London.

Discover Black Magma
ben leigh grosart

ben leigh grosart  

Relying exclusively on cycling, ben is travelling from the northernmost point of  England  to the southernmost to record collaborative album root. This unifying project brings together different artists from a wide range of places and backgrounds to reflect the current sound and feel of England.

“this award is enabling me to undertake a project  i’ve  been planning for close to five years. it’s an amazing feeling to be supported by a scheme such as this and to be given so much freedom to pursue my artistic vision.

ben was mentored by TL alum Will Dutta, the curating composer and Head of Artist Development at Sound and Music, the national charity for new music.

Discover ben's motivations
Hannah Wallace innovation award

Hannah Wallace  

In collaboration with the London  Wildlife  Trust, contemporary dance artist Hannah created Groundmarks.

The site-specific dance performance project in Sydenham Hill Woods explored the experience of the moving, sensing body within a constantly evolving landscape.

The TL Innovation Award was an incredible opportunity to receive at this early stage of my career- it gave me the freedom to take creative risks, and supported me to gain valuable experience as an artist and a leader.

Hannah was mentored by TL alum London-based dancer, writer and teacher Carolyn Roy.

Watch 'Creating Groundmarks'
Laura Rønning Engholm innovation award

Laura Rønning Engholm  

Danish dance artist and emerging choreographer Laura has created dance company Engholm Danseteater and is developing her inclusive dance practice aimed at engaging with those affected by homelessness and hidden homelessness. 

Being mentored by participatory dance artist Stella Howard as part of the Innovation Award has been inspiring. She has helped me to better understand and develop my own practice.”

Explore Engholm Danseteater

Meet the 2019 winners and mentors…

TL Innovation Award header
  • Composer Toby Carswell and percussionist Rhys Davies established The Public Bungalow, a vibrant ensemble of young professional artists whose sophisticated arrangements re-imagine pop music with a fusion twist. They were mentored by Max De Lucia, founding Partner and Client Director at sonic branding agency DLMDD.
  • Composer, musician and artist James Layton founded Into the Ocean, a London-based recording and concert series showcasing experimental new music including an album of works for solo viola in collaboration with Stephen Upshaw. He was mentored by Composer Edward Henderson, part of composition collective Bastard Assignments.
  • Mentored by freelance dance film programmer Gitta Wigro, multicultural all-female dance collective Mass Hysteria created work for Tate Modern, The Place’s Resolution Festival 2020 and V&A’s Friday Late series.
  • Jazz vocalist Sahra Gure wrote, produced and self-released her celebrated debut EP Love Me With Me. Sahra was mentored by Cimeon Ellerton, Co-founder and Executive Director of creative studio and social enterprise Social Convention.
  • Mentored by Richard Meads, Orchestra and Music Department Director at English National Opera, flautist and conductor Megan Storer established Cinematic Syncopations Orchestra as a platform for graduate players in London and to introduce a young audience to orchestral music through the performance of film scores.
  • Violinist Matthew Crisp worked with mentor Jennifer Raven, Co-founder of FairBeatand Deputy Director at Sound Connections, to strategise ways to introduce youth orchestra musicians to the power of music in community settings such as primary schools, care homes and hospitals.