Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School at 7.00 on Saturday 29th September

A Touch of Basil is the Philip Bates Trust’s annual concert. Featuring a wide range of performers representing a panoply of musical styles, A Touch of Basil always offers something for everyone.

 Regular friends will be returning including Basil’s Bunch, Georgina Bloomfield and The Academies of Vocal Music from Ex Cathedra. Devon Brown will also be singing with Heart of England Singers the final scenes from the rock opera “King”, to remember in 2018 the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death. Sarah Saunders will join Stephen Davis and Sue Bates in a performance of the Blake Songs by Vaughan Williams and singer-guitarist Jamie Brown from Tudor Grange School will be with us for the first time. Prestigious performances from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire students will include Philip Bates Prize winning composition ‘blue’ and Ashleyan Opera Prize winners Samantha Oxborough and Elise Fairley. Prize winners from John Willmott and Bishop Vesey’s will complete another stunning line-up of performers.


Adults – £10 advance/£11 on door

Children and Students – £7 advance/£8 on door

Group Ticket: Four tickets – £32 (not available on door)

Tickets available from:

tel: 0121 747 5705


post: Martin Bates, 24 Elmfield Road, Castle Bromwich, B36 0HL

Cheques made out to: “Philip Bates Trust”


The Philip Bates Trust and leading music college Birmingham Conservatoire (part of Birmingham City University) jointly run the annual Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters.

This exceptionally broad competition has recognised talent in a variety of genres in the past. It encourages entries in everything from classical, jazz and folk to singer-songwriter ballads, Asian music and rock, as long as the work is suitable for live performance and appealing to a wide range of concertgoers. Works should last between 6 and 12 minutes and instrumentation is up to the composer.

The competition offers three cash prizes. Birmingham Conservatoire and the Philip Bates Trust award one £350 prize each. There is also a £200 awarded by the audience. Shortlisted works will be performed at a concert at Birmingham Conservatoire and an opportunity will be given for one of the prize winning works to be performed again at A Touch of Basil.

This year’s competition concert will be on Tuesday 6th November at the Birmingham Conservatoire and entries will be accepted until Friday 28th September 2018.

View the 2018 Call for Entries Here

How to Enter

All enquiries and/or submissions should be addressed to:

Dr Michael Wolters, Deputy Head of Composition
c/o First Study Administrator (Jazz, Composition, Music Technology)
Birmingham Conservatoire
Birmingham City University
Academic Services (Faculty of Arts, Design and Media)
Millennium Point, Level 2
Curzon Street
Birmingham B4 7AP


Please read the Rules and Regulations before applying.


The Philip Bates Trust Games and Quiz Night is a regular favourite in our annual calendar. The main event is the quiz which includes general knowledge and music rounds. A variety of other games are always on offer, including individual puzzles, the chaotic “Railway Riot” and the perennial favourite ‘roll a coin at the whiskey bottle game’. A dinner is supplied of  jacket potatoes with a tasty selection of fillings followed by giant chocolate and carrot cakes, helping participants maintain their mental energies.

Last year the quiz night raised a fantastic £650 and great fun was had by all those who attended.

The most recent Games and Quiz Evening was on Saturday 11th March 2017  at Arden Hall, Castle Bromwich and there will be another at the same time next year.


Tickets are available from Martin Bates: get in touch and place your order now.