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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 £6,000 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.

Who Can Apply

Available to external applicants as well as current Trinity Laban students and alumni, there is no upper age limit. Applicants 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.

Applicants should take note of the conditions of Fellowship:

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. Applicants 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 full time 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

  • The deadline for applications is Monday 25th of March 2024

  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to audition/interview on Friday 10th of May 2024
  • Audition location is TBC.

Apply now

View application documents:

  • CV: Please attach an up-to-date CV detailing your education, further tuition (if applicable) and professional experience. Being as specific as possible, please indicate how you found out about this Junior Fellowship opportunity.
  • Covering Letter: Please attach a letter providing a brief statement (of no more than 500 words) indicating your intended personal programme over the Junior Fellowship period.
  • Short Biography: A précis (no more than 200 words) version of your biography.
  • Names of Referees: Please provide the names of two referees (preferably of national or international stature) who are willing to provide comment on both your professional work to date and your suitability for the Junior Fellowship programme, stating how long they have known you and in what capacity.
  • Professional References: Please attach scanned copies of the references from the two professional referees whose details you have supplied above.
  • Photo: please attach a high-quality (300dpi or 1MB) recent digital image of yourself.
  • Digital Recordings: Please attach at least one digital recording of a recent performance, with a total length of at least 15 minutes in duration. As there is no limit to the file size, please submit the highest quality version you have at your disposal.
  • Study Proposal: a more detailed proposal for a personal programme of study/project. This can include the information previously included in the covering letter but should be in greater detail. There is no fixed length but that document should include:
    • Plans for study/project work both inside and outside of the Conservatoire
    • The prospective Fellow’s proposed contribution to Conservatoire life
    • An expenditure outline (including tuition and living expenses for the year)
    • The prospective Fellow’s own financial contribution to his or her costs for the year


All shortlisted applicants will also be invited to attend an audition and interview during which they will be required to:

  • Rehearse a section (nominated by the panel on the day) from the set work (TBC). This will be approximately 20-30 minutes – depending on the number of candidates we select to audition.
  • Meet and talk with the panel to expand on the information supplied, discuss their experience and career plans, and suggest ways in which they would be able to contribute to the work of the Conservatoire as the Junior Fellow. This would also be an opportunity to talk about significant achievements to date.
  • Discuss their application materials, in particular their proposal and budget.

Please contact if you have any queries.


Frequently Asked Questions

I currently live in London but I am not a UK citizen. Will obtaining a Junior Fellowship entitle me to remain in the UK?

A. Due to recent changes made by the UK Visas and Immigration department (UKVI), holding a Junior Fellowship sadly does not entitle you to apply for a visa. As such, gaining a Junior Fellowship will have no influence on your ability to extend your current visa.

If I am not shortlisted, will it be possible to receive feedback on my application?

A. Sadly, due to the large number of applications we receive, it is not possible to provide individual feedback to applicants who were not shortlisted for interview.

Can I receive advice on my application prior to its final submission?

A. Yes – should you require any guidance on the content of your application we will be happy to offer this. This is best provided by email. Be as specific as you can with your query and we will do our best to assist you.

I wasn’t shortlisted however I am a brilliant musician with glowing references. Why is this?

A. We are not only looking for brilliant musicians but for individuals who can demonstrate an understanding of the Trinity Laban ethos and whose proposed programme of study will benefit our students as well as themselves.

You ask for a recent digital recording. What do you mean by ‘recent’?

A. While it is important you submit your best recording, we would expect that you are a developing musician who is currently possessing the best technical and expressive capacity you have had.  As such, we anticipate that the recording(s) you provide will be amongst the latest you have recorded.

Can I submit just one long digital recording or should I provide lots of different, shorter recordings?

A. While there is no strict answer to this, we would recommend including 2-3 shorter but contrasting extracts or movements (for instance, highlighting different styles or where you are performing with different instruments/singers) as opposed to a single complete work or movement.

Can I submit a YouTube or Soundcloud link in my application material instead of uploading a digital recording?

A. No. If you no longer have the original file please use KeepVid or a similar online application to extract your recording from the website in question, then upload this file onto Embark.

What is meant by ‘intended personal programme’?

A. Please detail, in no more than 500 words, what you are seeking to achieve over the 12-month period during which you are applying to be a Junior Fellow, and how this relates to your career aspirations in general. We would also recommend you discuss why you have chosen to apply to Trinity Laban and what benefit your association with Trinity Laban will bring to both yourself and to our students.

What should I write in my budget outline?

A. The budget outline can be a simple table. This submission requirement is designed only to demonstrate that you have considered and worked out how you will be financially supported (e.g. is this a combination of bursary, parental support and paid teaching work?) over the 12-month Junior Fellowship period. You can, of course, include the Junior Fellowship bursary money in your calculations.

In terms of possible income streams and performance-related expenditure, we would suggest making a realistic guess but not going into great detail. As long as you can demonstrate on paper that it is financially viable for you to undertake the Junior Fellowship, the panel will be satisfied with your budget outline.

What should my referee write in their reference letter in support of my application?

A. We do not specify what a referee should write. A reference is often only a couple of paragraphs but can be longer if your referee has more to say. A good reference is effectively a character reference by someone who is an established musician and who has had experience of your musicianship in either a training or a professional context.

I have completed my application materials but I am still awaiting a response from one of my referees. Can I still submit my application?

A. While we would prefer for all the application materials to be submitted in a single document, we will accept references sent to us directly by your referee via separate cover provided they arrive prior to the application deadline. References received late may not be considered by the panel and this could adversely affect your application. Late references should be sent directly to

Is it possible to amend our application materials once they have been submitted on Embark?

A. Once you have begun the online application process you can remove and/or replace files you have already uploaded. However, once your application has been submitted, you will be required to contact to request further amendments prior to the application deadline.


If you have further queries after reading all of the information provided, please email

Header Image (c) A P Wilding