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Carnets "Play the World" Grants

Supporting the Orchestra Industry with Easy to Apply for Grants

Each year we award Carnets "Play the World" Grants to Association of British Orchestras (ABO) members that promote the orchestra industry in the United Kingdom through their international tours. The Grants are easy to apply for and cover virtually the entire cost of Conference registration fees (or travel expenses) averaging £350 per Grant recipient.  Chief Executives or Managing Directors, Heads of Orchestral Operations, Concerts & Tours Managers should apply for this monetary award since, in many cases, they would not be able to attend the Annual Conference due to budget constraints.

We began offering these grants for the first time in the U.K. in 2018.  Our Carnets "Play the World" Grant program began in the U.S. in 2010 and has increased attendance while providing recipients with an opportunity they may otherwise have been unable to experience and share with their orchestras.  If you click on "Prior Grant Recipients" you'll find recipients from years past and their brief comments about the opportunity.

Please note these grants are offered to help with booking fees to the ABO's annual conference as well as the League of American Orchestra's (LOAO) annual conference. Eligible ABO members may apply for a grant to help with the registration costs to the LOAO annual conference in 2024.  

Grant Application for the League of American Orchestras
Download Grant Application
Prior Grant Recipients

"The ABO conference is a really useful annual event for anyone working in the orchestral sector. The sessions are an excellent opportunity to discuss and find solutions to the issues affecting our business, update one's knowledge and skills and look at the future of the industry.  It is an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues in other organisations who we would otherwise not see, and share experiences and best practices, as well as engage with suppliers and services integral to the business, such as Boomerang Carnets.  As someone who made late career change in to the orchestral sector, the ABO conference has been an integral part of my journey through industry over the last decade."  Peter Reynolds – Grant Recipient, Concerts & Tours Manager, Gabrieli

More comments...

Details of the Carnets "Play the World" Grant are:

  • Chief Executives, Concert & Tours Managers, Heads of Orchestral Operations from ABO member orchestras are eligible.
  • Awards are given to orchestras with a history of international touring or that have an international tour scheduled for a future date. An orchestra and individual recipient are not eligible for the grant more than once every 5 years.
  • The grant is for the Association of British Orchestras or the League of American Orchestras annual Conference booking fee or comparable travel expense (if applicable) to the Conference.
  • The grant application will be available online several months prior to the annual Conference.

Grant recipients agree to:    

  •    provide Boomerang Carnets® with a copy of their ABO or LOAO Conference booking form
       or applicable receipt following notification of the awarded grant,
  •    be available for a photo during the Conference Exhibit hours,
  •    pick up their grant check during the Conference Exhibit hours
       (if applicable, if not other arrangements will be made)
  •    provide a brief (3-5 sentences) written summary of the benefits of attendance
       at Conference

Past Grant Recipients with boomerang carnets UK Managing Director Curt Wilson, from L-R: Peter Reynolds, Concerts & Tours Manager, Gabrieli, Caroline Newton, Head of Orchestral Operations, Royal Northern Sinfonia and William Norris, Managing Director, Southbank SinfoniaSee more.

Quotes from Past Grant Recipients:

"Attending the ABO Conference allowed me to represent Royal Northern Sinfonia at the annual get-together with colleagues from across the industry.  I attended panel sessions which greatly enhanced my knowledge and heard directly from a member of the civil service about upcoming changes in legislation which will impact our touring plans. Thank you to Boomerang Carnets for their generous “Play the World” Grant which allowed me to represent Royal Northern Sinfonia at the ABO conference this year." - Caroline Newton, Royal Northern Sinfonia 

"Attending the ABO Conference was a huge benefit for myself and Southbank Sinfonia. The 3 days covered a huge range of topics, as well as this, it was a superb networking opportunity. Huge thanks to Boomerang Carnet for their support of my place which made this possible." - William Norris, Southbank Sinfonia

"My attendance at the LOAO Conference in Nashville this year was a fruitful and valuable experience for me. Firstly I was reassured at the many similarities I noted between the UK and US orchestral sectors: we are both dealing with many of the same issues and challenges and both equally motivated by the desire to serve our audiences and bring the highest quality performances to as wide a 'market' as possible. Sharing ideas, meeting others and networking with colleagues in a similar role is an exciting and hugely beneficial form of professional development." - Michael Garvey, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

"I found the ABO conference extremely useful. The sessions are always extremely well thought-out, and presented by inspiring figures who are at the top of their game. It is hugely beneficial to see case-studies from other orchestras, and to hear from broadcasting bodies and the recording industry, and I certainly came away with many new ideas. Thank you so much for making it possible for me to attend the conference. Your assistance is enormously appreciated." - Debbie Coates, Classical Opera

For further details please contact Moira Wilson, Grant Program Coordinator.