Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School at 7:00 on 30th September 2017

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 everybody.

This year there will be a tremendous line-up to suit all tastes: Ex Cathedra Young Voices will perform again as will winners of Philip’s prizes from Bishop Vesey’s and John Willmott schools. Conservatoire winners of the Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters and The Ashleyan Opera prize will show the high quality of students at Birmingham Conservatoire. Georgina Bloomfield will play her violin again, including a piece Martin Bates has written specially for her called A Day in Town. Many regular performers will return with a very welcome addition of Sir John Saunders and his daughter Sarah on baroque flute and oboe.


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 Lynsey Satchell, Composition Department Secretary
Birmingham Conservatoire
Birmingham City University
Paradise Place
Birmingham B3 3HG


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.