The Evelyn Glennie Foundation
The remarkable career of Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world’s first full-time solo percussionist, has pushed the boundaries of percussion beyond all recognition.
In 2023 she continues her life-long mission to ‘Teach the World to Listen’ by establishing a new charitable foundation, bringing her distinctive listening practices, her legacy and her vast career archive together to inspire active, receptive listening, helping to create a society where communication and social cohesion are improved by the act of listening.
Now Seeking: Trustee Treasurer
The Evelyn Glennie Foundation is now seeking its first Trustee Treasurer – a unique chance to become involved with a pioneering new foundation with enormous potential, playing a key role in shaping our policies, programmes and financial strategy. If you have a strong background in charity finance at a senior level and appreciate the transformation power of effective listening, get in touch!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, details: Trustee Treasurer details document
Over the coming months we will be seeking individuals with a variety of skills and backgrounds, able to commit to active engagement with the Board, staff team and our partners.
Please visit our REACH Volunteering profile or contact us via email@example.com for further information or to submit an expression of interest.
“Listening is an activity that never sleeps; we all have the ability and opportunity to listen, but do we do so wisely? To define listening through the ears is limiting but to define it through our presence enables change.
My rationale for creating The Evelyn Glennie Foundation is to enable people from all backgrounds to form listening bridges, not only with our ears but our very presence, from the beginning of our lives to the end. Now more than ever we need everyone to listen. Imagine how the act of listening would impact the world we inhabit.”
Dame Evelyn Glennie
As a profoundly deaf musician and role model, Evelyn’s significance transcends the discipline of music; her unique skills, as expert listener and sound creator, have driven progress and innovation in a wide array of contexts on a global scale.
Her many successes and firsts are not only representative of a triumph over adversity – they also reveal to us the subjective, responsive and multi-faceted nature of the listening experience itself. As such, her insights and experiences have never been more important.
Because listening represents a willingness to hear the voices, views and needs of others, promoting open-minded and productive dialogue. It offers a simple but powerful means of forging connections and instigating change.
The Evelyn Glennie Foundation will enable change, connection and collaboration through listening, delivered through the mediums of education, engagement, advocacy, consultancy, research and performance.
Everyone. Better listening has global resonance and as such The Foundation’s mission encompasses all communities, regardless of background or experience. Good communication can be a rich source of empathy, compassion and progress in both cultural and social terms.
“My perspective on listening has been completely turned around by the inspiring and powerful energy that you put across, and my world is a much better place thanks to your work. These days I do not say I have a hearing difficulty, but just say that I hear differently. I no longer feel fear and anxiety about hearing, but now find it a positive and creative environment full of possibilities. I have truly listened…”
Hearing-impaired Musician and Sound Therapist
Hearing-impaired Musician and Sound Therapist
The Foundation’s early collaborations, based around harnessing the power of listening and drawing on the assets of The Evelyn Glennie Collection, include:
Sounds of Science, Shireland Collegiate Academy | Birmingham, UK
A project created by Evelyn, Historian Chris Lloyd and Composer Jill Jarman as a cross-curricular thread for 5-18 year olds in formal education settings, currently being formatted by Sir Mark Grundy’s team ready for implementation from September 2023. The programme invites students to consider how humanity has been driven to learn, invent, discover, examine, and react to the forces of the universe to survive and thrive together. Following this pilot, a model will be developed to roll out with schools across England.
Homerton College, Dining Hall Installation | Cambridge, UK
In 2023 The Evelyn Glennie Collection loaned the Glennie Concert Aluphone to Homerton College Cambridge. Positioned on display in their new Dining Hall, the instrument will give visitors rare access to this iconic instrument, as used by Evelyn in her performance at the London 2012 opening ceremony, as well as inspiring students to learn to play it and write original repertoire.
Sense and the Tactile Music Project | Birmingham, UK
Using a ‘Sub Pack’ – wearable technology that translates sound into vibrations – pioneering national disability charity Sense is expanding access and inclusion to music and sound through tactile and sensory means. Acting as a consultant during the project’s development, Evelyn has helped Sense to create a children’s musical show using only touch and smell with Tim Baker, their Resident Music Artist.
Sonic Bothy | Glasgow, UK
Sonic Bothy is an inclusive music ensemble consisting of musicians with and without learning support needs, who together explore, compose and perform experimental and contemporary music. Consulting Evelyn to help them extend their listening capabilities, the group are now igniting thrilling new possibilities of repertoire and performance.
Let’s Make Some Noise | Canada & USA
For three years Evelyn been advising Genevieve Cleary of Let’s Make Some Noise, whose installations celebrate sound by exploring listening through the body and other senses. For example, NASA is currently collaborating with them to explore the impact of the sensory experience in connection with astronauts. Their installations compel participants to reflect on many aspects of our lives in profound new ways through sound – the space around us, our work environment, our well-being and communication.
THE EVELYN GLENNIE COLLECTION
“…whilst the most obvious audience for The Collection may be the percussion community, a life immersed in sound creation , innovation, experimentation and diversification ultimately eschews barriers associated with medium,
genre or discipline.”
Dr Georgina Hughes
Percussive Notes Vol 60, No.3 June 2022
genre or discipline.”
Percussive Notes Vol 60, No.3 June 2022
Fuelling the work of The Foundation is The Evelyn Glennie Collection, a primary-source repository of artefacts spanning Evelyn’s career to date, including music scores, correspondence, photographs, audio & visual recordings, other items relating to over 2,500 performances and a collection of 3,500 instruments from around the world.
As a historical archive, a means of inspiring the next generation of sound creators and a vast social and educational resource, The Collection provides the core material through which The Foundation will help its beneficiaries to create bespoke, temporary ‘collections’ of their own – used by educators, researchers, composers and performers, tailored to the learning needs and cultural interests of their audiences.
An online, open access, user-friendly interface is currently being developed to help make the content of The Collection globally accessible, reducing The Foundation’s dependency on Evelyn’s personal involvement in its projects, allowing its work to scale.
In its first twelve months The Foundation aims to:
Recruit and develop a strong Board of Trustees to guide development of The Foundation and provide oversight and scrutiny.
Secure investment to develop The Evelyn Glennie Collection into a fully digital and accessible resource.
Complete and evaluate our current projects, reflecting on The Foundation’s impact to help plan the next phase of delivery.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to support the development of The Foundation, we would welcome early contributions in a number of areas:
Become a Trustee
If The Foundation’s mission excites and inspires you, a Non-Executive Director role would allow you to help guide our strategy and wider development in this crucial first phase. We are actively seeking individuals with a variety of skills and backgrounds, able to commit to active engagement with the Board, staff team and our partners. Please visit our REACH Volunteering profile or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to submit an expression of interest.
Provide seed funding for our development plans
Delivering our current projects to their maximum potential is integral to the Foundation’s mission and development. We would particularly welcome financial contributions to support these, and to help us create an accessible, online user-interface for The Collection, which is vital to helping us scale up our work. A business case has been developed, costs considered and a provider identified. Further information can be provided on request. We would welcome conversations with potential donors and social investors.
Collaborate with us
If you or your organisation sees potential in utilising Evelyn’s practice, insights or elements of The Collection in your own work, we’d love to hear from you. We are currently considering new projects for 2023 and beyond. Please contact us for an exploratory conversation.
Come and see for yourselves!
If you would like to see and experience The Collection in person, we will shortly be instigating a visitor programme for groups of up to six at a time. A range of different packages are available, as well as opportunities to take the tour with Dame Evelyn herself.
Neil Roskilly – Chair, Trustee
Dame Evelyn Glennie – Founding Trustee
Dr Georgina Hughes – Founding Trustee
Caroline Thompson – Founding Trustee
Gethyn Williams – Founding Trustee
Ann Rachlin – Honorary Trustee
It is with profound sadness that The Evelyn Glennie Foundation mourns the passing of its very special Honorary Trustee, Ann Rachlin, MBE. Having lived a life that was all about making a difference through her unique Fun with Music performances, founding the Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children, being President of The Elizabeth Foundation and so very much more, you can understand why the Foundation was delighted to draw upon Ann’s vision, expertise, intelligence and sheer grace. If ever there was a person who knew how to listen and cultivate constructive listening to change lives, it was beautiful Ann. Thank you from the bottom our of hearts.
The Evelyn Glennie Foundation and Collection are located within Evelyn’s offices in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Email: email@example.com – General enquiries
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Collection enquiries
Email: email@example.com – Recruitment
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Invoices and Finance
Online: DameEvelynFDN – LinkTree
The Evelyn Glennie Foundation received confirmation of registration as a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with the Charity Commission in England and Wales on Thursday 5th January 2023. Registered Charity number: 1201502
Head Image: © Philipp Rathmer/Brigitte