Arts / Education / Music / Performing Arts

Sage Gateshead Centre for Advanced Training

Each year our students leave the Centre to pursue further study at some of the UK’s leading universities and conservatoires and often return to Sage Gateshead as professional musicians, conductors and educators.

In 2012 Arts Council England set Sage Gateshead an ambitious target to raise £4 million by 31st July 2015 in order to lever an additional £2 million in match funding through the catalyst endowment scheme. With generous support from the Gillian Dickinson Trust and contributions from hundreds of individual donors from across the region Sage Gateshead was able to reach its target, becoming one of only a handful of arts organisations outside of London to receive full match funding. Sponsorship of the Centre for Advanced Training, the junior conservatoire of the North East, by the Gillian Dickinson Trust as part of the Catalyst scheme has guaranteed the future of the region’s only specialist music school for years to come.


Highly valued by its students, teachers and their families, the Centre for Advanced Training provides world class tuition for some of the region’s most gifted young musicians. There are currently 84 students aged 8-18 years old enrolled in the Centre each of whom attend weekly instrument study sessions, ensemble training, and music theory classes and perform in approximately 20 concerts across the academic year.


“Going to the Centre for Advanced Training has improved my musicianship, my playing, and my understanding of composing and writing music.  I'm super grateful that I was able to get a place in the programme and be given such a great opportunity.” - Centre for Advanced Training Student


Practical studies are underpinned with technical and theoretical studies in a supportive, encouraging and welcoming environment in the Music Education Centre every Sunday during the academic year. Classes are taught by some of the region and the country’s best musicians, including members of Royal Northern Sinfonia, who bring a wealth and breadth of experience to the Centre. The programme of study is also complimented by masterclasses from visiting artists which this year included European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Stars Cathy Krier (piano), Remy van Kesteren (harp), Benjamin Appl (baritone vocal) and Harriet Krijgh (cello). The masterclass sessions culminated in a concert featuring Centre students and a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto by Lars Vogt.


“My daughter started out as a member of Quay lasses and is now an active member of Quay Voices and the Centre for Advanced Training where she is quickly developing her singing technique, performance and confidence. Sage Gateshead staff are her adoptive family and she loves the learning experience and care they provide.  I would recommend the Young Musicians Programme to anyone who has a love of music and wants it to develop further.” - Parent of Centre for Advanced Training Student


During the 15/16 academic year 48 of our students took ABRSM performance exams. Six students achieved Grade 8 Distinction, with one student receiving an ABRSM award for exceptional performance, and a further sixteen students achieved Grade 5 and above. Each year our students leave the Centre to pursue further study at some of the UK’s leading universities and conservatoires and often return to Sage Gateshead as professional musicians, conductors and educators.


“It is my great fortune to have been involved with the Young Musicians Programme at Sage Gateshead from its very beginnings in 2004. The establishment of a world-class teaching and learning community for musicians in the North East was a great step forward for all of us who have been involved at a professional level in the musical life of the region. To play a part in the journeys of discovery and achievement for the next generation of musicians continues to be a great source of personal inspiration.” - Dr James Birkett, Study Leader


The Centre for Advanced Training continues to be an invaluable asset for the region, providing some of our most gifted young musicians the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Support from The Gillian Dickinson Trust has not only helped to guarantee the financial future of the Centre but is a kitemark of quality and recognition of the achievements of the Centre and all those involved.