Samling—through a wide range of performance and learning opportunities—nurtures young classical singers and piano accompanists. From students to emerging professionals, many hundreds of young artists have benefited since the charity was founded in 1996. Samling has two core activities: Samling Artist Programme offers intensive residential masterclass weeks led by internationally established artists and experts, attracting outstanding young singers and piano accompanists. They see their work with Samling, at a crucial stage in their development, as a springboard and bridge between conservatoire life and their new careers. Samling Academy extends the reach of the professional Artist Programme to younger singers in the North East of England and has set new standards of classical singing in the region. Over a quarter of Academy participants go on to full-time music study.

The Shears Foundation has provided invaluable and much-needed financial support to Samling. Based in the North East of England, a region which is culturally underserved, it has also fully engaged in our work. This level of interest, guidance and encouragement is rare and makes The Shears Foundation unique in my experience. We are immensely grateful for its commitment to helping young people realise their full potential and through our activities to bring the richness and joy of classical music to new audiences.

Karon Wright, founding artistic director, Samling