Benslow Music Trust

Benslow Music Trust

The first Rural Music School (RMS) was established in Hitchin in 1929 by Mary Ibberson to provide teaching for beginners and those wanting to continue musical involvement after their school years.

The RMS Association (RMSA) was incorporated in 1947 to act as a focus for music teaching in rural areas and as a pressure group to address what was seen as a deficiency in the general educational system. This grew rapidly to some 20 centres in England devoted to making available good music teaching in country towns and villages, with its headquarters in Hitchin. Little Benslow Hills, a substantial Victorian house, was bequeathed to RMSA by Esther Seebohm in 1952 ‘to be used in perpetuity for the support of music-making’ and became the operational hub of the organisation.

Constant upgrading, refurbishing and rebuilding of facilities, plus a new corporate identity, has contributed to an unending quest to widen and improve the scope of Benslow Music’s work and access to it. There is now a fully professional staff body running approximately 220 residential music courses annually. Good quality accommodation and in-house catering is available for up to 50 guests at any one time. Some 50 public concerts and events are given during the year (including a series organised by the Friends of Benslow Music). The core music business is supported by the provision of Bed and Breakfast facilities for the general public and by other events through our trading company Benslow Music Enterprises.

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