The Gloucestershire Piano Trust

The Gloucestershire Piano Trust is a charity founded in January 2024 to support the work of pianist Clare Hammond in schools and prisons, with young musicians, in commissioning new music, and recording music by little-known composers.

Its principal focus is Clare's community work. Each year, Clare gives on average 30-35 concerts at primary schools in collaboration with Gloucestershire Music and 10 concerts at prisons across the South-West. This work reaches over 3,000 children and 300 prisoners annually, many of whom have not previously witnessed live music.

In each concert, Clare performs a series of short pieces, recounting the stories behind the music and what the composers were going through at the time. Clare started giving prison concerts after suffering from postnatal depression and often discusses mental illness with prisoners in post-concert Q&A sessions. By relating the challenges composers faced in their own lives, and performing the astonishing music they created, Clare shows how music can inspire, console and heal.

The Gloucestershire Piano Trust will be holding their first fund-raising concert at Syde Manor Tithe Barn near Cheltenham on Saturday 27 July. You can find full details on Clare's concerts page.

Contact the Gloucestershire Piano Trust by email.

Feedback from schools

"It was so refreshing for the children to have access to this sort of experience. It’s been a very long time, because of the pandemic, since we did anything like this, and it is so important for them to have these enriching experiences. Every child was engaged though the session; the rapt expressions on their faces were so lovely to see and one of our budding pianists was positively bouncing with excitement. She hasn’t stopped talking about it!"

"She turned our school piano into a thing of magic and many of the children have said that they wish to write about her playing and add it to our ‘awe and wonder’ board. Thank you again for providing this high quality musical experience to our tiny school and inspiring our pupils."

"I was so excited ‘cos I am learning piano. I’m not very good yet but Miss Hammond was brilliant. She played so fast ….. she used all the piano and stretched her hands really wide in the very difficult piece by the composer from Korea. I don’t know how she remembers all that. I want her to come again - and I am going to try to practise more!"

Feedback from prisons

"The best day I have had in Prison in four years. I have mental health problems and Clare Hammond's performance lifted my spirits massively. Music and art feed the soul."

"To witness such beauty in this environment was something I will never forget. It reminds you how certain human experiences cross all boundaries - even prison walls."

"[The concert] is about both appreciating that people outside the prison care about us and helps me respect people."

"Fantastic! Would never have expected to have the opportunity to attend something like this in prison, and thoroughly grateful for the experience".

"Afterwards, talking with the audience, there's a mixture of contentment, excitement and bemusement that they have been part of such a wonderful thing in such a sorrowful place."

Read articles on Clare's prison concerts by Jailhouse Moose, and in Music Teacher and Classical Music Magazines.

General information

View the Gloucestershire Piano Trust's policies:

Trustees: Benjamin Browne KC, Nicholas Steel and Penny Wright.