Wandsworth’s World Heart Beat Music Academy won the 2019 Achates Individual Philanthropy Prize this week.
The prize winners were announced on Tuesday at a celebration of first-time supporters of the arts in the UK.
World Heart Beat runs non-selective and diverse music classes for children from all backgrounds.
Founder and artistic director Sahana Gero said: “At the academy the limits of what you can do goes out. Disadvantage and inequality goes out.”
The prize, which consisted of a £5,000 donation from the Achates Philanthropy Foundation, acknowledged the charity’s fundraising excellence and celebrated its supporters’ generosity.
Nick Thomlinson, who has been heavily involved in the organisation’s growth, was also given an award.
He said: “World Heart Beat Music Academy is a wonderful charity that’s making a real difference to the lives of young people.
“Once I got involved, I couldn’t step away – I realised I was hooked!”
Ms Gero said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate Nick Thomlinson’s philanthropy – he has been so generous, making a major gift to our capital project and getting actively involved with our fundraising campaign.
“Nick embodies the true definition of the word ‘philanthropy’ and we really appreciate his support.
“Individual donations are a vital cornerstone of our work – we couldn’t achieve all that we do without them.”
The academy has held several concerts since its foundation, including several performances of its 51st State Band.
According to Ms Gero, alumni have gone on to achieve great musical success with two playing in the Royal Albert Hall this year and one is a member of the New Civilisation Orchestra.
In August 2020 the academy will be expanding and opening a new venue in Nine Elms.