No fewer than five students from Felsted have achieved places to study at the most prestigious conservatoires in the country in the last 12 months, including the National Youth Orchestra’s principal percussionist.
These talented young musicians will be progressing to the internationally renowned Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal College of Music, where they will develop their skills with a view to becoming professional musicians of the future.
An Interview with Mariella, Sana and Sebastian:
18-year-old Sana A-J (fmn08-22), one of Felsted’s top performing A Level students in 2022, was offered two music school scholarships and has chosen to study at the Royal Academy.
‘Felsted has provided me with the strong foundation on which to build my future musical career,’ says Sana, who recently performed at the BBC Proms as principal percussionist for the National Youth Orchestra. ‘I’m excited for the next chapter of my life at the Royal Academy of Music and I hope to work as a professional musician in future.’
Joining Sana at the Royal Academy with a scholarship will be singer Sebastian C, who says: ‘I’m excited for the experiences and opportunities it will present, such as studying with internationally renowned teachers and using world-class facilities. In the future, I would like nothing more than to be an opera singer.’
Flautist Matthew J (hc17-22) has accepted a place at the Royal Northern College of Music and Double Bassist Charles C-P (fehc15-22) progressed to the Royal Academy. Percussionist Mariella B, who is currently principal percussionist at Junior Guildhall, also received two scholarship offers and will go to the Royal College of Music in September.
‘During their time at Felsted it has been great to watch these students develop as musicians,’ said Felsted School’s Director of Music William Warns. ‘Achieving such a large number of places at these hugely respected conservatoires is a celebration of the excellent music provision at Felsted, which equips students with the skills to study music beyond school to such a high level, and also of the hard work of these students, who really are dedicated to making music.’
The UK’s music conservatoires are respected the world over for performance-based courses that are industry-focused to help prepare their students to be career-ready musicians, performers, producers and entrepreneurs. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills as musicians through specialist one-to-one tuition, ensemble study and creative projects through a programme that covers performance, composition, conducting, music theory and music history.
Felsted musicians will be in good company - Sir Elton John and Bill Bailey are both Royal Academy of Music alumni, while Benjamin Britten and Andrew Lloyd Webber were students at the Royal College of Music, and Don Airey and Stjepan Hauser, known professionally as HAUSER, went to the Royal Northern College of Music. Felsted has a long history of creating musical stars, including Jeremy Holland-Smith (d90-95), composer of the score for the 2022 version of ‘Scrooge: A Christmas Carol’ currently on Netflix, mezzo-soprano Esme Bronwen-Smith (bn03-13) who won First Prize at the 2022 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, and Gus Nicholson (fcd06-12), who recently composed the music for a brand new performance of Anne of Green Gables by London Children’s Ballet at the Peacock Theatre in London’s West End.
‘It is so important that our students receive a genuinely rounded education and the performing arts are key to this,’ said Head of Felsted Chris Townsend. ‘We are totally committed to offering individuals the opportunity to pursue and develop their talents and interests in music while at school and giving them all the encouragement they need to make a contribution to cultural life as adults in future. To have such outstanding performers within the school is also a great way to inspire others to get involved in music’.