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The story of an NYCGB Fellow

2 years ago

 

The 2016-17 NYCGB Fellows have had a busy and productive time since they started last September. Here’s the how the Fellowship has progressed so far from the view of Hannah King, one of the current Fellows.

Early years

Hannah with certificateMusic has always played a big role in Hannah’s life.

Her dad is a music teacher and at the age of three, she announced to her parents that she wanted to start learning to play a musical instrument.

Violin lessons soon started and piano lessons followed. She also joined the Bolton Junior Youth Choir, and through an ‘Endangered Species’ project aimed at encouraging more children to take up unusual instruments through free instrument hire and lessons for a year, she started to learn the oboe.

At secondary school, Hannah joined the National Youth Choir Girls’ Choir and for the next 10 years the oboe and singing competed in terms of her priorities.

Four years at Chetham’s School of Music followed, where the oboe took precedence in her life.

It was only in her second year at Trinity College, Cambridge, where Hannah had both choral and instrumental scholarships, that singing became more prominent for her – mainly due to her experience of being a member of the Trinity College Choir.

She heard about the Fellowship programme from a friend and also from her time as a member of the National Youth Choir.

Giving back

One of the attractions of the Fellowship for Hannah has been the opportunities to take part in the outreach programmes with children. This is something she feels very drawn to because of the great experiences she had when she was younger with Bolton Music Service.

As she recalls: “I remember being packed into the Victoria Hall in Bolton with hundreds of other children, spending a day learning songs and culminating in a performance for parents.

“I feel very privileged to have had such an outstanding musical education so early on in my life and have a huge amount of gratitude towards those who fuelled my love of music at such a young age.”

Durham Vocal Festival

All the Fellows took part in singing workshops for 200 children, and their teachers, during the Durham Vocal Festival at the end of January. The children learned five songs and the teachers developed conducting skills.

Reflecting on the day, Hannah was left with a warm feeling about the impact she and the other Fellows had made on the children.

She said: “The goal wasn’t just to teach them some new songs, but to instil a curiosity about and an appreciation for music for the future. So to send the children home still singing is always a great sign!

“With school funding under pressure, I’m really proud to be working with organisations like Durham Vocal Festival and NYCGB and their programmes to encourage more young people from diverse backgrounds to get involved in music.”

Hannah King

Fellowship highlights

Hannah has really enjoyed working with and learning from the other seven Fellows.

She said: "The Fellowship programme has been designed to help us develop into more rounded musicians. We’ve had so many fantastic opportunities and learned so much more than simply getting better at singing!

“For me, particular highlights have included a weekend of stagecraft workshops, and a conducting masterclass with Harry Christophers. I’ve found myself becoming clearer and more assertive in my musical ideas. The outreach work we’ve been able to do as a result of the Fellowship is something I will strive to continue to do for the rest of my professional career.

“While I’ll be sad when we reach the end of our year as Fellows, I am really excited about where we can get to musically by the end of our time together.”

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