The Sir Charles Mackerras Junior Fellowship in Conducting is designed to enable an aspiring young conductor to bridge the gap between full-time conservatoire-based study and the music profession by providing them with the means and time to develop their professional skills and contacts whilst continuing their development with the support of a Trinity Laban mentor. In light of Trinity Laban’s mission to train aspiring musicians for portfolio-based careers, the Mackerras Junior Fellow is likely to have particular interests, which may include Early Music, Church Music, Contemporary Music, Opera, and/or Music Theatre in addition to a good knowledge of, and interest in, orchestral/choral repertoire in general. Applicants should expect to contribute to the Conservatoire community as well as pursuing their own career.


The Sir Charles Mackerras Junior Fellow will be awarded a tax-free bursary of £4,000 to cover their tuition expenses and help defray the cost of living during the academic year of their tenure. Normally awarded for one academic year, but with an option for renewal for one further academic year, the Junior Fellowship must be taken up in the year for which it is awarded.


Available to external applicants as well as current Trinity Laban students and alumni, there is no upper age limit. Candidates should already have successfully completed formal studies at a level at least equivalent to a postgraduate diploma or degree, or be completing these studies in the academic year in which the application is made. Applicants will also need to be able to demonstrate substantial successful experience as a conductor, the motivation and determination to continue intensive study, and the desire to develop their skills by working regularly with musicians within and outside the Conservatoire.

Conditions Of Fellowship

Junior Fellows are responsible for making their own arrangements for lessons and other tuition inside and/or outside the Conservatoire, and for planning their own work routines and monitoring their effectiveness. Tuition may be either with Conservatoire staff or those not directly associated with Trinity Laban. Candidates should note that it is a condition of the scheme that at least half the value of the bursary should be used to fund further study. In all cases, submitted budgets should show how the candidate expects to contribute personally to their costs for the year. Bursaries are intended to supplement, not to replace, contributions from applicants’ own resources, and the Sir Charles Mackerras Junior Fellow will be required to use their scholarship money exclusively for legitimate, approved expenses. Reasonable expenses may include: coaching to assist in the preparation of a range of concert programmes; music purchases; venue hire; keyboard hire/tuning costs for performances; competition entry/travel expenses; marketing/publicity costs; and so on.

The Junior Fellow should also expect to fulfil such other duties as negotiated and agreed with Trinity Laban, including (though not exclusive to) the following examples:

  • Organise, lead, coach, direct, inform and/or participate alongside Trinity Laban performers and composers in a range of projects and/or other activities as appropriate (N.B. These arrangements will be agreed in advance for the period September-January and again for February-June. Participation in at least one activity within each six-month period is mandatory.)
  • Understudy/have masterclasses with selected visiting conductors
  • Attend/participate in selected fundraising events/concerts as a Trinity Laban representative, contributing to these as requested and in negotiation with the Head of Performance Strategy;
  • Compile a portfolio of work undertaken during the year containing programmes, reviews, and other details of activities as a Trinity Laban Junior Fellow (N.B. portfolios are not returned, so please personal copies should be retained);
  • Produce a short written report on activities undertaken to date by the end of the first semester, and a further full written report (to accompany the portfolio of work) by the conclusion of the second semester;
  • Keep the Conservatoire and any relevant trustees/sponsors informed on a regular basis of opportunities to attend performances or events in which they are involved;
  •  Fulfil any other duties as negotiated and agreed with Trinity Laban;
  • Adhere to all other relevant Trinity Laban policies and procedures found in the Trinity Laban Regulations Handbook.

And as appropriate:

  • Assist in the coaching of junior, under- and/or postgraduate students;
  • Undertake specialist work in the fields of Early Music (e.g. directing from the keyboard/violin), Church Music (e.g. work with the ORNCC Choir), Contemporary Music, Opera, and/or Music Theatre;
  • On payment of the appropriate fee, (funded from within the tax-free bursary) undertake one or more elective modules from the menu available to students on the MMus programme.

In addition, Trinity Laban will provide the Sir Charles Mackerras Junior Fellow with:

  • Mentor support: access to and support from an appropriately qualified individual from within the Trinity Laban senior staff team.
  • Practice Facilities: physical access, including ID/access Cards for use within King Charles Court, equivalent to that available to full-time Trinity Laban students without disadvantaging Trinity Laban students.
  •  IT: access to IT facilities within King Charles Court equivalent to that available to fulltime Trinity Laban students.
  • Library: use and borrowing rights equal to full time students.
  • Coaching: coaching as required with Trinity Laban’s conducting staff and / or other Trinity Laban salaried members of staff (as relevant) subject to agreement with the Conducting Mentor, to a usual maximum of 10 hours per calendar year. (N.B. Access to all other in-house Trinity Laban staff to be paid for by the Junior Fellow at the Trinity Laban hourly rate for chamber music coaches)
  • Masterclasses/Understudy: Participation in Trinity Laban masterclasses and / or as understudy to a visiting conductor as appropriate.
  • Recording: Use of the Trinity Laban recording studio at an agreed level commensurate with equivalent groups (typically three full days), subject to the constraints of the demands on the studio and working staff time lines. Subsequent time will be charged at the appropriate Trinity Laban discounted staff rate (currently £16 per hour).
  • Publicity & Marketing: Access to the advice and expertise of the Trinity Laban PR & Marketing department, subject to the constraints of the demands on the department and working to staff time lines (N.B. typically 2 months advance warning is required for all materials). Activities might include the creation of a detailed and relevant mailing list, the design of a generic flyer/postcard for future publicity, etc. (N.B. use of an external designer or printer and all “additional cost” activities such as photography must be paid for by the Junior Fellow.)
  • Performance: Performance opportunities as appropriate or required, to be discussed and arranged with the Head of Performance Strategy in conjunction with the Conducting Mentor.
  • Other Professional Opportunities: Community/outreach work as appropriate, to be discussed and arranged with the Head of Professional Skills in conjunction with the Conducting Mentor. 

How to Apply

Applications are currently closed.

Please contact juniorfellowships@trinitylaban.ac.uk if you have any queries.

Header Image (c) A P Wilding