YMS is a local charity which operates as an activity of Dartington North Devon Charitable Trust and with support from the Dartington North Devon Foundation. It was founded in 1990, the brainchild of pianist Susan Steele who wanted to help a gifted student whose parents could not afford to pay for lessons.

In recent years we have been able to support a number of budding local musicians many of whom have gone on to study at music colleges across the country. Many come back regularly to perform with local orchestras such as the North Devon Sinfonia.

YMS believes that classical music should be accessible to all, whether as a performer or audience member. We aim to encourage participation by children from families which are financially disadvantaged, by providing financial and mentoring help to promising young musicians in North Devon.


All proceeds from our fund-raising activities are distributed to our awardees, or are used to promote performances by up-and-coming young musicians. In earlier days a large proprtion of YMS funds came directly from the Dartington Trust, but this has dwindled and we are more than ever dependent on our own fund-raising efforts.

The majority of our income derives from one or two high quality musical events held each year featuring well-known names from the world of classical music, often with a connection to the local area. We also arrange recitals for popular local musicians, up-and-coming  young professional artists and the very best of our YMS alumni who are graduates or students at music college.

Performance opportunities

Our younger awardees are invited to play at informal concerts and other events during the year. These smaller events may not raise a huge amount of money but they are invaluable as a means of providing performance opportunities to young and aspiring artists.

Our older awardees are often invited to perform at larger events where they are given the opportunity to gain experience as performers but also to showcase their talents. All of these opportunities can be added to your music CV for the future.