Visit The Evelyn Glennie Collection

A free guided tour by knowledgeable Volunteers

Come and visit us at the Evelyn Glennie office in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, for an inspiring and unforgettable tour of this truly unique collection.

Our Volunteer Curator can lead a group of up to six people through this extraordinary collection of artefacts showcasing Evelyn’s career. The Collection is as broad as Evelyn’s talent, you’ll see her costumes, awards, artwork and of course hundreds of instruments from around the world. Every continent is represented from African Ago-gos to Indonesian Anklungs, Indian Elephant Bells to Peruvian Panpipes, and Venezuelan Curbata Drums to an Irish Lambeg, to name a few. At the end of the tour, you can stand in Evelyn’s footsteps and strike the 5 foot Tam Tam for yourself. Tours last approximately 45 minutes to an hour, with a maximum group size of 6. All children must be accompanied.

To arrange a date for your visit to The Evelyn Glennie Collection please contact our office.

There is no charge for the tour, but we welcome donations to help support the work we do. We hope that having experienced The Evelyn Glennie Collection for yourself, you will agree that it must be kept intact for the benefit of future generations.

Visit The Collection – 2024 Dates

The following dates and times are currently available. To book, please contact us via email to or by calling on +44 (0) 1480 459 279. All slots are subject to a maximum capacity of six guests. Please note: tours must be pre-booked and confirmed with us to avoid disappointment.

Saturday 22nd June – 2pm slot available, FULLY BOOKED
Thursday 1st August – 2pm slot available
Wednesday 7th August – 11am and 2pm slots available
Saturday 10th August – 11am and 2pm slots available
Monday 12th August – 2pm slot available
Monday 9th September – 2pm slot available

If the above times and dates are not suitable, we may be able to offer alternatives with sufficient notice.


Meet the Dame

A unique conversational opportunity with Evelyn

As she guides you through the extensive instrument and artefact Collection, Evelyn will immerse you in her world of extraordinary soundscapes. A central part of this memorable experience is the informal conversation instigated by Evelyn. Through listening to you, she will make the occasion truly special.

On arrival at The Evelyn Glennie Foundation building in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK your group of up to six people will be welcomed with a complimentary glass of something fizzy as you are introduced to Evelyn. Continuing your visit, you will be taken on a tour of instruments from around the globe and be shown a variety of artefacts from her career. As the conversation develops, Evelyn will share with you her personal anecdotes. The collection is so extensive that we would invite you to discuss with us how we can make this bespoke occasion resonate with you. The hour and a half long visit concludes with an invitation for you to strike the 5 foot Tam Tam.

To arrange a date for your Meet the Dame visit please contact our office.

Price: £600 per group, for up to six people

The monies raised from all Meet the Dame visits will be used to help secure the longevity and accessibility of The Evelyn Glennie Collection.

Meet the Dame – 2024 dates

The following dates and times are currently available. To book, please contact us via email to or by calling on +44 (0) 1480 459 279. All slots are subject to a maximum capacity of six guests. Please note: tours must be pre-booked and confirmed with us to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday 23rd July, flexible timing to be arranged with you
Wednesday 31st July, flexible timing to be arranged with you
Saturday 17th August, FULLY BOOKED

If the above dates are not suitable, we may be able to offer alternatives with sufficient notice.


Who’s Listening?

A unique bespoke listening opportunity with Evelyn for you and your team

We offer this highly individualised team-building experience with an emphasis on the power of listening.

Nestled in our not-so-typical office building, your group will immediately be surrounded and enthralled by one of the largest and diverse collections of percussion instruments, personally gathered by Evelyn during her extensive career as the first full-time solo percussionist in the world. Our exclusive environment instantly feeds the senses in delightfully unexpected ways, opening minds, sparking curiosity and fuelling creativity.

Evelyn’s unique perspective in identifying the difference between hearing, listening, translation and interpretation will be explored through organic conversation and activities, challenging preconceptions of what true listening really means and how it impacts all our lives.

The importance of creating listening bridges within all our industries is crucial. Listening gives space and time a chance to be felt; when listening is silenced, anything can happen.

We look forward to discussing your bespoke visit.

Price: on application

The monies raised from all Who’s Listening visits will be used to help secure the longevity and accessibility of The Evelyn Glennie Collection.

Who’s Listening – booking information

To start a conversation about your team visit, please contact us via email to or by calling on +44 (0) 1480 459 279.

All above images © Ian MacMichael


Sheila Livesey-van Dorst

‘Meet the Dame’ Experience
July 2023

A fantastic tour. I was completely engrossed in the items on display and the stories behind the items Caroline had chosen to show us from the collection. Caroline was highly informative, her knowledge of the collection was very impressive. We learnt so much about Evelyn’s life and her monumental and unique achievements. The collection itself is large and diverse. It is very, very impressive with a huge range of incredible percussion instruments, music, documents, costumes and awards charting Evelyn’s life and career. It was a huge honour to be in Evelyn’s company throughout the tour. Meeting Evelyn was of course the highlight among many highlights for me. Evelyn is the most amazing woman. She can play anything, nails, spanners, etc. all perfectly. Evelyn inspired and mesmerised me. There are not enough superlatives to describe her. Her global honours tell that story.

The tour was great fun, we laughed and were encouraged to interacted with the collection objects. The tour was relaxed and highly informative. Evelyn, Caroline and Emma looked after us royally. They were all extremely generous with their time and knowledge. I was captivated by everything I saw and heard. The grand finale of the huge timpani was very special indeed. An incredible tour that will last in my memory for ever. Thank you all for an amazing afternoon. Everyone should do this tour. We are going to tell all our friends.

Meet the Dame guest

‘Meet the Dame’ Experience
July 2023

An incredible experience from start to finish!

It really was just the best day, so much to see and hear about, we felt privileged to be able to listen to Evelyn and absorb the stories about her journey from childhood to the present day. It was so compelling and inspiring to hear.

Evelyn is the most unassuming, kind hearted and humble person, with talents I don’t even have the words to describe. We were so honoured to meet her.

The collection is epic, so wide ranging in terms of countries of origin, types of instrument and ways acquired. To hear some of them played by Evelyn was the highlight.

Caroline was a brilliant host. Her engaging style and information was excellent and contributed to a wonderful afternoon.

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes and Emma set up the perfect afternoon for us.

The Raggatt Family

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
April 2023

The visit captivated us all (myself and husband, son-in-law and 2 grandsons aged 13 and 10) from the moment the boys rang the ship’s bell to gain entry and we were given a warm welcome. The introduction included a map showing the extent of where the instruments came from, and our guide was really well informed and only too happy to answer all our questions. Despite the boys exuberance and excitement, full of questions, the staff were patient with them and kept them totally engaged.

Thank you to all the staff for a memorable visit. I have already told lots of people about it.

Bill Crockett & Kay Hollyhead

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
March 2023

We were recently treated to a surprise visit to The Collection when Caroline described the percussion exhibits in wonderful detail. Not knowing what to expect, her knowledge and obvious love for Dame Evelyn was infectious and enhanced the experience. We can highly recommend anyone with a love of music, whatever genre, to plan a visit, quite incredible. A big thank you to everyone involved.

Paul Catchpole

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
May 2023

Thank you so much for enabling a recent visit to the Evelyn Glennie Collection which I found enjoyable, informative and educational. Caroline Thompson, a founding trustee, guided our party of six through the collection with clear and knowledgeable explanations pitched well for all levels of familiarity with the subject of percussion and she was able to answer various questions that we asked.

You showed us an astounding variety of instruments from all over the world, some of them rare, ancient and fragile. The demonstrations were excellent and it was good to be able to play a few less rare and more robust items ourselves. In addition to the instruments, I’m glad that you showed us a number of programmes, newspaper articles and other items relating to Evelyn Glennie’s career and overall I would say that it would not be necessary to be a drummer or percussionist to find a visit interesting.

Derek Evans and Mary Evans Young

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
March 2023

Many thanks for our ‘private’ viewing of The Evelyn Glennie Collection. It was rather special and expanded my appreciation of how percussion is as powerful an element in any genre of music as any other instrument. And with Evelyn Glennie’s experiences and teachings, it goes way beyond that, encouraging us to connect with sound on both a physical and emotional level. We can see how deeply you are connected with the project and Evelyn; it shines through in your informative and enthusiastic presentation. Brilliant.

Kelli Ryan

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
January 2023

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the collection which was thoughtfully led with the interests and preferences of the visitors kept always in mind. The team were generous with their knowledge and time. This is such a fantastic resource to have on our doorstep and lovely to gain insight into the wonders and challenges of Dame Evelyn’s life as a professional percussionist.

Diane and Graham James

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
October 2022

We found the presentation of some of Dame Evelyn’s treasured collection incredible from the moment we entered the room. We liked the diverse range of percussion instruments bought or presented from around the globe and also personal stories and items. Caroline who has volunteered for many years doing cataloging has taken on the role of guide and is so passionate in her work and her support of Dame Evelyn that her stories are off the cuff due to her knowledge. The visit contained much more and also many highlights that only a visit will reveal.

There was so much to see and hear about that we could’ve spent longer there. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many beautiful objects. Thank you!

Sue Presland

‘Visit The Collection’ Tour
August 2022

I really wasn’t expecting it to be so enthralling, I expected interesting but it was captivating! I had heard a fair bit about the collection from my friend but really knew little about Evelyn’s work and am not a musician or know anything about percussion so you see my surprise. Evelyn truly must be an amazing lady, the tour made me realise what strength of character she must have. A tour with her would be incredible for anyone interested in an interesting life. The question I came away with is: What is the limit to percussion – what isn’t classified as percussion – is it just instruments with a name? That sounds strange but you’ll see what I mean when you view this collection. Thought provoking in so many ways.

The Enstone Family

‘Meet the Dame’ Experience
July 2019

What a fascinating visit! The tour was captivating and Evelyn’s impromptu demonstrations were informative and thoroughly enjoyable. We were made to feel really welcome and the atmosphere was relaxed and cheerful. My mum is hard of hearing and in a wheelchair, yet she felt included at all times. Thank you to Evelyn and her team.

Gill and Colin Winter

‘Meet the Dame’ Experience
July 2019

It was wonderful to be included in a Dame Evelyn Glennie Experience on 8th July 2019. To be shown the vast range of instruments was amazing and very instructive. We never imagined such an array existed. But, best of all, was the opportunity to meet with Evelyn – someone we’d admired through Television for years. She was so friendly and attentive to us – we could see why Amanda was so happy to have worked there, even for a short while. Evelyn is a ‘one off’ and to repeat the Experience Days will increase her standing with all those who are lucky enough to meet her. That day in 2019 is a memory we still treasure.

The Evelyn Glennie Collection – Volunteer Blogs

The Evelyn Glennie Collection is a primary source, evidence-based repository and as such the facts contained in it have been drawn from documents, correspondence, photographs, audio & visual recordings, musical instruments, scores, and other artefacts we hold. It covers all of Dame Evelyn’s career demonstrating both her longevity as the world’s first full-time solo percussionist but also its diversity including events far outside the music industry.

Gathering Momentum

Caroline Thompson

In 2016, when I started volunteering my brief was just that – brief. Evelyn and her office staff had taken advice from various local museums, all of whom made it clear that each item in The Collection needed its own unique reference number and should have its own entry on a spreadsheet. There was a draft set of headings but there were just too many different sorts of items for any spreadsheet to be manageable and meaningful. What worked for awards did not work for publications, and what worked for recordings did not work for correspondence and so on.

I suggested that we start by looking at the concert programmes. After all, Evelyn could only be in one place at a time and only play one set of pieces at a time, so the concert programmes would tell us where she was, on what day, playing which repertoire and who the other artists were.

Naturally it proved to be not quite simple.

Picture This

Amanda Roberts

Becoming a volunteer for The Evelyn Glennie Collection was a complete change for me. Responding to an advert in a local newspaper which said “seeking people to help with organizing all the accumulated items of a lifelong career so far”, sounded like a challenge to say the least! Little did I know how complicated, challenging and ultimately fascinating my involvement would become.

On day one, as I openly admitted my lack of musical knowledge (looking at a music score was a complete foreign language to me), we concluded that it would be a good idea for me to concentrate and collate what seemed like never-ending boxes and folders of photographs, photo albums, hundreds of magazines and leaflets which had built up over the years.

Starting with the photos was a challenge. Very few had dates or pertinent details, and so I had to rely on fashion and hairstyles of the time period in order to differentiate them. I spent several weeks literally sitting on the floor, with photos spread all around me, under marimbas, gongs and bells in order to at least get the photos into ‘decades’ as a starting point!

Above blog images © The Evelyn Glennie Collection