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 professional development support as they establish themselves within one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy. Made possible by The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), each winning project receives an award of £3,000 to use on development, and will benefit from a specially tailored mentorship programme.
Meet the 2020 Recipients...
Performer and arranger Gabriel is from a brass playing family and has experience playing trumpet in a variety of settings and genres from jazz bands to orchestras. During his first year at Trinity Laban he and four friends formed Big Smoke Brass UK and over the last three years they have worked on a host of exciting and innovative projects.
Gabriel aims to expand his work with Big Smoke Brass UK by creating a series of professionally produced online music videos. These cross-discipline videos will be made in collaboration with different artists including dancers and choreographers. The new content will elevate the ensemble’s brand profile and help Big Smoke Brass UK reach new audiences.
“Being at this conservatoire has involved a whole lot more for me than simply attaining a high level of skill on my instrument. Trinity Laban has allowed me to nurture my multiple interests and I am delighted to be receiving this support for my latest project.”
Musical Theatre student Hayley has a passion for working with children. During her second year at Trinity Laban she organised a Cabaret Musical Theatre concert and ran the London Marathon, raising £2600 for Make A Wish UK.
She has written interactive musical Dotty’s Dilemma with fellow student James Dodd, a show specifically designed to accommodate Special Educational Needs and be performed in non-traditional settings such as children’s hospices. Based on a short-story Hayley wrote when she was seven, the show is about discovering self-worth and celebrating individuality.
“I applied for the Innovation Award because I want to bring theatre to children who may not normally get access to it. The Award means I can turn something I have been working on for years into a reality. I am so grateful to have been provided with the opportunity and am so excited to develop my show.”
ben leigh grosart
During his undergraduate degree studies, musician Ben has built a portfolio of skills in composing, performing, producing, improvising, arranging, audio engineering, and videography. His most recent achievements include being a Trinity Laban Gold Medal finalist, performing in and producing a selection of large-scale pieces with National Youth Choir of Great Britain, and having his videography featured by Classic FM.
Relying exclusively on walking, running and cycling, ben will travel from the northernmost point of England to the southernmost to record collaborative album root. This unifying project will bring together different artists from a wide range of places and backgrounds to reflect the current sound and feel of England. By undertaking the journey by human-powered means, ben will also be advocating for sustainability and healthy living.
“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.”
Double bassist Jess Price enjoys combining her love of orchestral playing with alternative projects such as playing the string parts for hard rock bands. Alongside her classical music training, Jess is a circus artist who has performed fire breathing at the UK’s biggest metal festivals as part of pyrotechnic performance group Black Magma. Outside of music, Jess focuses on fitness and para-powerlifting which has helped her over come the challenges of her chronic illness Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
Eruption is an event series that will feature alternative performers with classical backgrounds and widen listening horizons. Drawing on classical practises and themes to produce new music and dance work, the series will be a platform to showcase the benefits of classical training within non-traditional contexts.
“I am extremely excited to have been selected for the Innovation award as it means I can provide a creative space for a fusion of alternative and classical music with performance, as well as kickstarting my dream career of running an events and promotions company.”
Laura Rønning Engholm
Danish dance artist and emerging choreographer Laura has worked with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and premiered her debut work at Zhichri Theatre in Israel. Moving to England three years ago and experiencing the over whelming number of homeless people and the extent of their exclusion, she became motivated to start an inclusive dance practice that could empower these people and articulate their stories.
The Homeground Project aims to challenge social barriers and provide opportunities for inclusivity, helping homeless participants and their local communities build connections and understanding. By introducing dance and movement as a means of communication, the project will give voice to people who are not often given the chance to express their emotions and stories.
“I feel extremely proud and honoured that Trinity Laban is trusting the value of my work and artistic vision. The support from the Innovation Award will enable me to share my dance practice with those who are particularly challenged in these critical times.”
During her training at Trinity Laban, contemporary dance artist Hannah has worked with choreographers including Tara D’Arquian, performed repertoire by Merce Cunningham, and presented her own work Fruit Speaks of Other Longings at Laban Theatre. A highlight of her training was going on an Erasmus exchange to Valencia, Spain in her second year.
In partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, Groundmarks will be a series of performances and events that consider our relationship with nature spaces in urban environments and explore issues around climate change. This an opportunity for people who might not normally connect with nature to come together and celebrate its importance.
“I am grateful to have this financial support as well as excellent mentorship that will help me to develop new work and contribute to the wider discussion surrounding climate change through the medium of dance.”
Meet the mentors...
The mentors for 2020 are:
Stella Howard – participatory dance artist
Carolyn Roy – London-based dancer, writer and teacher