Help us buy our harpsichord

by The Brook Street Band in Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,740

Gift Aid
+ est. £360.00
£7,000 target 33 days left
24% 20 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 2nd July 2024 at 3:09pm

We aim to raise funds to buy our own harpsichord, made by Alan Gotto. This will make a huge difference to our concerts & outreach programme

by The Brook Street Band in Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom


We believe passionately that everyone should be able to experience live music, in a variety of settings, not just traditional concert halls. Often people think that classical music might not be for them, but the experience of hearing a concert or workshop and meeting the musicians and seeing their instruments up close can really be revelatory. 

"Finely balanced, deliciously spiced, infectiously musical" BBC Radio 3

"So infectious is the enthusiasm of these gifted players for their Baroque master that you will find it hard to suppress a smile at the sheer energy and effervescence" The Observer

“I liked how you spent time talking about your instruments and the people who first created them. The Brook Street Band are very good at what they do and I think they should play in front of more schools.” Primary school workshop participant

We are raising funds to buy our own keyboard instrument – a harpsichord. Owning our own instrument will mean we can deliver more education projects, workshops and live music concerts in locations where it is often hard to hire a harpsichord. We have some donations already pledged offline, but still need to raise around £7,000 to reach our target.  All donors will be listed on our website unless you let us know that you’d prefer to remain anonymous. 

Thank you for reading about our campaign and we hope you feel inspired to get involved! We'll also be enormously grateful if you can share details of our campaign on social media and with friends and family.


"Ensemble so pin-sharp it merits a safety warning" BBC Music Magazine

"Fabulous, enjoyable concerts with such a friendly and inclusive Band." Audience member

Ever since she was a young child, The Brook Street Band's founder Tatty Theo has been passionate about Handel's music. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly sparked that lightbulb moment, but Tatty always knew Handel and his music was going to be a big part of her life.

Jumping forward a few years, Tatty set up The Brook Street Band in 1997. This award-winning chamber music group takes its name from the London street where the composer George Frideric Handel lived and worked, renting 25 Brook Street from July 1723 until his death on 14 April 1759.

Over the years the group has been lucky enough to win international recognition on both the concert platform and for its recordings. Recent accolades include winning the BBC Music Magazine Award for opera  in 2023.

It has also established its own music festival called love:Handel, and central to this festival is the work the group does to bring music to people and places that might otherwise miss out. The Band has a large schools programme, bringing workshops and live music performances of wonderful baroque music into schools and other education settings.

The Band's performances usually feature violins, flute or recorder, cello... and crucially, a keyboard instrument called a HARPSICHORD.


The harpsichord above is similar to the one we are purchasing (although ours won't be decorated and painted with gold leaf!) and is also made by Alan Gotto. If you want to find out a bit more about how a harpsichord works, BSB's harpsichordist Carolyn Gibley has made a short film, Inside the Harpsichord.


“...I loved the whole presentation, like the Handel last year...the mixture of historical context and background to the music, together with an opportunity to listen to inspiring players...” Workshop participant

Owning our own harpsichord will make a huge difference to the work we can deliver, particularly in schools and colleges. It will cut our costs dramatically, meaning we can deliver more workshops and concerts. It also means we’re not restricted to scheduling work in areas where we know an instrument supplier. This will open up many more possibilities for us, enabling The Brook Street Band to reach more people, in more places.

We’ve always been passionate about sharing our love for Handel’s music, and presenting concerts and education projects in places that often miss out. Owning our own harpsichord will make it so much easier and cost-effective to introduce this vibrant music to more people, especially younger generations.




We have commissioned renowned Norwich maker Alan Gotto to craft us a single manual harpsichord based on an instrument by an anonymous Italian maker from the 18th century. 

It has a single keyboard, with 56 wooden keys, 2 sets of 8 foot strings made from brass, plus a buff stop on the back set of strings. 8 foot refers to the sounding register rather than the actual length of metal string. if you've looked inside a harpsichord you'll know that the top treble ones are in fact very short. If you're not sure what a buff stop (and who is, if you're not a harpsichord afficionado...!), a buff stop effectively stops the strings ringing so much when they are plucked, changing and softening the character of the sound. 

It transposes, meaning we can work at both baroque and modern pitch.

We’ve chosen this particular instrument as it’s incredibly versatile, suitable for both continuo playing and solo repertoire. Crucially, it is also small and light enough to move around easily.

1714572280_img_7455.jpg (We're pictured here with a similar sized instrument, although ours won't have the decorated soundboard).

Here's the same instrument neatly stored in the back of the car.


Do get in touch with us at [email protected] if there's any aspect of this project we can send you more information about. 

Thank you for your support and reading this far!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£10 or more

Pay what you can

This big idea has tickled your fancy, and you'd like to get involved, but with a smaller budget. We really are grateful for any amount generous donors feel they can spare, so if our named rewards below don't fit your budget, this is the reward for you. You can donate whatever suits your budget from £10 upwards, and (as with all our rewards), if you are a UK taxpayer, we can claim GiftAid on your donation.

£100 or more

Sponsor a harpsichord key

The keys on our new instrument are made from boxwood, and ebony on walnut, distinctively individual and lovingly crafted by Alan Gotto. Whilst we can’t physically give you an actual key or inscribe your name on it, what could be nicer than knowing your financial support is adding to the number of notes we can play, expanding our compass from bass to treble.

£250 or more

Jacks, plectra and strings

We're selling virtual bundles of jacks, plectra and strings. Our instrument’s ‘voice’ comes from its brass strings, which are plucked by plectra (originally made from quill) set into wooden jacks; these respond when a key is pressed down. If you want to find out more about the mechanics of a harpsichord, we've got an informative film about it on our YouTube channel.

£500 or more

Carpentry and cover

Alan Gotto has used several beautiful woods for our instrument. The outer painted case is poplar and the unpainted inside is cypress, as is the stand for the music. The painted legs are made from beech wood. All is protected by a heavily padded case so the instrument can be transported safely and without damage. Your generous donation will help towards funding the casework and cover.

£1,500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

EXCLUSIVE - Private cello and harpsichord recital

A 1 hr concert (for max of 10 people) given by cellist Tatty Theo and Carolyn Gibley, showcasing our new harpsichord. All you need to do is provide the venue, making sure room size and instrument access is suitable. Reward subject to the following Ts &Cs: performers will agree a date/time with you within 12 calendar months from 1st July 2024. Performers’ travel/accommodation costs to your location need to be reimbursed separately.

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