2019 BHAC Contribution to the Arts Award

BHAC (4th July 2019)

 2019 Contribution to the Arts Award

Andrew Sherwood

(Member group: encore)


Jane Osler, BHAC Chair, with Andy Sherwood


At the BHAC Annual General Meeting on 3rd July, we were delighted to announce that this year’s recipient of our annual Contribution to the Arts Award , presented by our Chair, Jane Osler, is Andrew (Andy) Sherwood nominated by our group member encore.

Andy has been a teacher and conductor of Brighton Youth Orchestra for 25 years and is Director of Music for Orchestra at Brighton & Hove Music & Arts.

Born in Kenya, he contracted polio aged seven, recuperating in various hospitals in Zimbabwe, where he took up the violin aged 14, winning a place at the Royal College of Music in London aged 19. 

He is much in demand as a conductor and Brighton Youth Orchestra ensembles have won awards and acclaim since he became Director.  Andy is renowned as an inspirational teacher, director and conductor for young people, who go the extra mile under his care and make leaps and bounds in their musical ability.  He does not pamper or patronize his players.  His approach is to treat them like professional musicians, to select music from classical repertoire that tests the limits of their abilities, and squeeze hours of practice from each member of his orchestra.  He says: “We tend to think we should make life easy for the young.  Well, they don’t want an easy life.  They want to be challenged.”

The success of his approach is apparent in the musical appreciation of his ensembles, the willingness of his alumni to return and support his endeavours, and the large sums of money he has raised to support young musicians.

“Andy is an unstinting advocate for young musicians – he works tirelessly to give them the best experiences and to get the best from them.  He has given enormous amounts of his own time to fundraise, and is able to call on so many successful professionals to support our work.  This is without doubt a testament to their experience of learning and playing with Andy” – Bec Britain, encore


Encore is the fundraising network for supporters of Brighton Youth Orchestra and all the city ensembles managed by Brighton & Hove Music & Arts.   Encore supports the next generation of musical talent providing funds for O360, our inclusive ensemble, and bursaries for tuition, specialist instruments and international tours.

(Registered Charity no. 1076169 – Brighton & Hove Music Trust)