Arts / Drama / Performing Arts / Singing / Theatre


Many experience a real ‘awakening’ during their time with Samling Academy

The support from The Gillian Dickinson Trust has greatly helped to sustain the activities of Samling, allowing us to continue our work with some of the most promising young singers and pianists both nationally and in the North East of England where Samling is based.

The grant received for our 2017/2018 seasons was used towards the costs of Samling’s two full-time General and Creative Development Managers, who have provided much needed support and expertise in planning and executing all of Samling’s activities, in particular our Samling Artist Programme and Samling Academy.

Following our auditions in April and May 2017, twelve singers and four pianists were selected to join our Samling Artist Programme weeks in December 2017 and February 2018.

Each member of the leadership teams brought a wealth of experience and unique expertise to the singers and pianists, and the young artists were able to focus on vocal and piano technique, acting, stagecraft and communication, diction and languages. Training took place in an intensive, safe, and tailor-made environment at Farlam Hall in Cumbria.

Both weeks culminated in a public masterclass and concert at Sage Gateshead, where North East audiences had the chance to see for themselves the rigorous dedication and tremendous talent it takes to make a classical singer.

In October 2017, eight Samling Artists returned to the North East to help lead our Samling Academy activities. They coached thirty of the region’s most talented young singers in group masterclasses and sessions, passing on their knowledge and experience and helping Samling to enrich the ‘virtuous circle’ between the two interlinked programmes.

Samling engages with all the middle and high schools in the region, inviting its students to audition for Samling Academy, but also offering free tickets to students and teachers to attend our events. Invitations were also given to young singers who were unsuccessful at our auditions. Observing a young professional work on their technique and language skills in an open masterclass is an invaluable learning experience and, for many, is an excellent way to spark interest and curiosity in a young singer who has had limited exposure to classical singing.

The continued success of the Samling Artist Programme underpins the growth and success of the Samling Academy. In 2017 we welcomed back eight Samling Artists as leaders on our Samling Academy. The non-consecutive weekends have become firmly been established as a core part of a North East-based young classical singer’s progression. Many experience a real ‘awakening’ during their time with Samling Academy – highlighting that our beneficiaries are truly inspired and galvanised by working with our Leaders. The support of The Gillian Dickinson Trust has significantly enabled Samling to continue this vital work.