Student Photo

Valentine Alcock (1955-74)

Who We Are

Valentine Alcock was a talented mixed-race clarinetist and saxophonist from a single-parent household.  Tragically, he died in the Summer of 1974 following a swimming accident in Cannes as a 19-year-old hitch-hiker attending the annual Jazz Festival ahead of taking up a place at Cambridge University.

In his memory, close members of his family established a small fund to allow others to follow in his musical footsteps.  Over the next 30 years, a handful of young musicians, mainly from single parent families, were helped to attend residential summer schools.

"It has been a privilege and an amazing opportunity to play with such talented young musicians. Their attitude towards their instruments has definitely inspired me and even made me think about going into a musical career in future"
- Catherine, Porthcawl (violin, FCYO residential course, 2015)

Members of the family eventually agreed a revised strategy and in 2008 the Valentine Alcock Scholarship was registered as a charity with a regular income stream and a Board of Trustees, and with the Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs for receipt of Gift Aid.

The Scholarship’s aims are:

"My tutor for the Dvorak focused particularly on getting our quartet to play more musically by playing around with our use of rubato and getting us to capture all the different moods in the piece by extending our phrases and concentrating on the tone that we produced. His sessions were really productive and you could hear the piece improving throughout the week, and our final performance of the piece was completely different to how we had been playing it at the start of the week!"
- Annie-May, Hertfordshire (violin, MusicWorks residential course, 2015)


The Scholarship has three Trustees, who collectively make all decisions regarding the distribution of awards.  They believe passionately in the importance of music in the development of young people’s intelligence, personality and appreciation of culture.

1. Mr. Bob O’Hagan – Hon. Secretary
Educational Consultant (ret.)

2. Mr. James Douglas
Chartered Accountant

3. Mr. Richard O'Hagan


If you wish to contact us, click here.

Young Musicians