Performing Arts

Performing Arts Personal Statement Examples

 Click on the links below to jump to a particular example.

 

Acting (pre-2012 Entry)

Dance (2014 Entry)

Drama (2014 Entry)

Folk & Traditional Music (pre-2012 Entry)

Folk & Traditional Music (2013 Entry)

Music (pre-2012 Entry)

Music (2013 Entry)

Music (2013 Entry)

Music (2014 Entry)

Musical Theatre (pre-2012 Entry)

 

 

Acting (pre-2012 Entry)

I am applying for the vocational approach to drama as I feel that it will give me the best grounding for the competitive and demanding industry I wish to enter, enabling my progression from ambition to achievement.  It will be the best way to develop and sustain the strong professional ability and mind-set required to succeed in the performance industry.  I appreciate how important commitment and focus are in order to undertake this form of training, but firmly believe that my open mind and eagerness to learn will enable me to get the best from the course.  My recent time with the NYT gave me an insight into vigorous training methods, proving my ability to enjoy, and quickly adapt to, working with a diverse range of new people, some of whom were industry professionals.  I relished the intense course experience, loving that every moment was productive and feeling a great sense of achievement knowing how hard we had worked.


Confident from a young age, I have been involved with local drama groups since 8.  Despite this, it wasn't until I joined Tynedale Junior Youth Theatre (JYT) at 12, where I played the title role in an Alan Ahlberg play, that I truly discovered my passion for acting.  I've since played various roles, from background cast in musicals to Greek Chorus, via Blousey in "Bugsy Malone" and Shirley Valentine and was proud to achieve a Distinction in Grade 7 LAMDA Acting exam this year after only 6 hours of tuition.  My love for musicals points me towards the West End stage but I have a deep interest in all types of theatre; naturalistic to abstract, contemporary to classical - I look to Julie Walters and Meryl Streep for their outstanding adaptability.  I especially look forward to learning techniques for recorded arts, never having had a chance to take part in such work.  Living in a small north-eastern town, theatrical opportunities are limited, but I make the most of whatever comes; regularly going to see the few touring companies who make it this far, from the RSC to Oddsocks!

 

In addition, I take a keen interest in music; singing in particular, though I also play the flute.  I have been a member of school choir and A Capella groups for several years and have completed Grade 5 in both Singing and Music Theory, soon hoping to improve on this.  I was part of a student-led close-harmony quartet which reached the final of a region-wide TalentSTAR competition and am currently talking to Core Music, a Community Interest Company, about leading singing workshops for children.


I have recently taken an interest in backstage work. I undertook my school work experience as an ASM with a touring TiE group as well as organising my own week working with Dundee Rep during a school holiday.  I have been head of costume for some JYT performances and ASM for others.  These experiences have given me an understanding of the whole theatrical process.

Outside acting, my main activity is trampolining: I compete at a regional level and am a qualified coach.  Coaching 4-18 year olds gives me experience of dealing with different people, from overly-shy children to stressed parents!  This has helped me develop diplomacy and versatility, as did being a young leader of a Brownie pack for 2 years.  Within school, I have been entrusted with responsible roles such as the student recruitment panel for new staff positions and I was invited to attend a Student Voice conference.


I am interested in various socio-political issues – I helped a successful application to gain Fairtrade status for my school and am now working towards getting it for my town.  I have been a key member of the school's Human Rights group for 4 years and was involved in re-launching a local CND group.


Through all this, I feel that I have gained a range of experience which has both enhanced my knowledge and unequivocally confirmed my choice of career.  My willingness and desire to become involved in such diverse activities demonstrates the breadth of my life experience to date.

 

Dance (2014 Entry)

Dance has been fundamental in shaping my personal and physical development.  My immersion in training and performing allied to an active engagement as an audience member have encouraged me to take risks in choreography and performance and push myself to creative and physical limits.


Beginning ballet at the age of 12 led to a dramatic improvement in my confidence as a dancer.  It stimulated an interest in dance technique, making me consider how the incorporation of the whole body can improve the execution of choreography dramatically.  Having missed many important formative years, I trained intensively to cover lost ground, gaining Grade 7 at Distinction level.  I am working towards Grade 8, having emerged as a leading dancer in the class.  On entry to high school, I successfully auditioned for Youth Dance Tynedale.  Being part of this company not only opened my eyes to the explorative style of contemporary choreography but also allowed me to work alongside highly regarded dancers and choreographers.  I attended master classes coordinated by Dance City and had a prominent choreographic role during a dance intensive with Anthony Lo Guidice, producing a 17 minute piece based upon the tragedy of Guernica.  This was highly acclaimed by audiences and competition judges, who described its execution as being 'semi-professional.'  Anthony's intense style of working taught me how to entirely commit myself to dance.


YDT has brought me into the industry through its connections with professionals for residencies and workshops.  Whilst the athletic, grounded nature of Shaun Boyle's style increased my physical strength and capabilities, the highly emotive techniques of Gavin Coward and Philippa White of balletLORENT taught me to draw upon human experience and dance from within.  I was invited to participate in a workshop led by the key members of the company EDGE, in which they re-worked excerpts from Tim Rushton's 'Silent Steps'.  The piece in performance was stunning: the way in which the group worked together through contact and accurate timing was incredible to watch yet it was the soloist who captivated me the most because of her ability to combine passion and precision.
Alongside studio practice, as a dancer I thrive upon the thrill of performance.  I have featured in works by Geoff Hopson, Debbi Purtill and Anthony Lo-Guidice in a variety of recognised venues.  In July 2013, YDT was selected from 40 companies in the North to perform at U Dance 2013, a great honour and motivation.


I have widened my knowledge and understanding through watching professional companies perform.  Northern School of Contemporary Dance's 'Night Time', by Frauke Requardt, a physical and aggressive work incorporating repetition, captured perfectly the juxtaposition of vulnerability and self-assertion: this balance of opposites has fed in to my choreographic style.  In 2Faced Dance's latest production, 'Out of his Skin', the execution of the movement and the display of unity as a company were incredible to watch.  I strive to incorporate into my own performance what I learnt from their risk taking and the way each dancer physically committed fully to each phrase.  Their use of symbolism to capture mental instability was reminiscent of balletLORENT's 2013 adaptation of 'Rapunzel.'  These, like many productions, challenged me emotionally, making me question my perceptions.


I believe that dance can play a vital role in the development of children.  I volunteer each weekend at the Education Centre for Children with Down Syndrome.  Here, I help children aged 3 to 7 in the development of basic literacy, numeracy and motor skills through a programme entitled Write Dance.  It is work I find incredibly rewarding and personally enriching.


My future lies within the world of dance, ideally by being part of a company or in choreography and then, later in life, through teaching: in both, I believe that my passion for the medium and my commitment will allow me to excel.

 

Drama (2014 Entry)

I have chosen to study acting through the route of a professional drama academy as I believe this is the best pathway for me to gain the necessary experience to succeed in the competitive professional acting industry.  What I find most interesting in this course is the focus on learning and applying the technical skills required to build a believable character and developing the ability to adapt to different roles and demands of each production.


My love for drama and performing came at an early age; I seized any possible opportunity to perform in my first school plays and at our town's local theatre, The Queen's Hall.  Since our first exposure to Stanislavski in Year 11 GCSE drama I have been extremely fascinated by the teaching of practitioners and their techniques, something which I look forward to studying during this course.  My first major involvement in a production was with Opera North, where I performed in the chorus of their production of Hansel and Gretel.  For the past five years I have been a part of all of my school's Youth Theatre productions either performing or helping back stage with hair and makeup, which I am trained in.  I have also had a number of experiences at the Northern Stage in Newcastle; my most valuable experience was with their 'Stage Door'; scheme where we devised and performed a production with professional director Richard Gibb.  Last November I went on a National Youth Theatre master class week, exploring Shakespeare and studying his language in detail.  Most recently I spent four weeks this summer in California with Bayfest, working intensively to rehearse and perform 'The Winter's Tale'.  This experience was invaluable as I was given the opportunity to work in an extremely intensive environment, giving me an insight into the demands of professional theatre, as well as having the opportunity to work with international professionals.  I was able to experience ensemble work, giving me the chance to work closely with other actors in a demanding timeframe; we had just four weeks to be cast, rehearse our parts and put together the whole production for paying audiences.


I have always thoroughly enjoyed watching theatre productions, and recently had the opportunity to see a number of West End shows, something I was extremely enthusiastic about.  By taking GCSE and A level Drama, I realised that acting was more than just an interest, but was also the profession that I would love to pursue as my career.  I gained a pass with merit in my grade 7 LAMDA exam, performing three contrasting styles of monologues.  Alongside A level Drama, I also studied P.E, and am currently finishing off Ancient History as I am also highly interested in the classics and Greek mythology, which can have a link to my acting as I hugely enjoy Greek tragedies.

 

Alongside my academic studies I also have a part time job as a waitress at a local bistro.  I started this job at the age of 14, allowing me to gain skills such as teamwork, social skills and respect as well as giving me a strong work ethic.  As I have been able to earn my own money independently, I have had the finances to support my passion for drama, by being able to pay for auditions, workshops and travel expenses without aid.


As well as many drama related experiences, I also have a great love for sports, participating in many different activities throughout my life, such as rowing, squash, netball and trampolining.  For the past five years I have also been a part of a local Brazilian samba drumming band, which has performed at many gigs all over the country, giving me great experience in performing to audiences.  Although these experiences have helped shape me as a person, drama continues to surpass this and confirm my desire to pursue acting as a career choice.

 

Folk & Traditional Music (pre-2012 Entry)

I have chosen to apply for this course to further my knowledge and experience in folk and traditional music and to progress further as a performer and musician.  I was first drawn to folk music after sitting in a workshop at the Folkworks Durham Summer School.  After teaching myself guitar focusing on rock and blues music I initially felt completely out of my depth, but after spending half an hour playing through session tunes I was totally addicted.  The vibrancy, passion and infectious energy that is inherent in traditional music captured me entirely, as did the overwhelming sense of community and inclusion that came with sitting in a room and connecting with people I didn't know.  Since then, as a result of folk music, I have made strong friendships, played in venues ranging from village pubs to the Royal Albert Hall and travelled to countries and places I would not have normally visited. I have been playing folk music for three years and feel I have achieved so much but want to take my passion further by studying at degree level and really get into the details, history and traditions so that I can seriously pursue this love as a career.


I have completed a two week work placement as a junior administrative assistant to David Oliver at The Sage Gateshead.  During the placement I completed administrative duties, assisted in the organisation of the Folkworks Summer School and in preparations for the Hexham Gathering.  I also shadowed members of the Newcastle Folk Degree, led workshops and visited local schools to support ceilidh band sessions.  Since this initial experience I have also led workshops as part of Folkestra for students in Cambridge and Madrid.  I have had additional tuition in how to lead workshops in order to increase my skills and confidence in taking groups focusing on teaching tunes.


I love performing; during my studies I have achieved 100 percent in both GCSE and AS level performance assessments.  Outside of school I have been lucky to have a wide and varied range of opportunities to perform; for example, as part of a local exchange programme I have spent time in Sweden and France learning and sharing the traditional music of each country.  Being a member of Folkestra for the last two years has brought opportunities to perform locally, to tour in this country and in Spain, culminating in July this year with a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in the first ever Folk Prom.  Locally I perform individually, in duos and in ensembles; early this year I supported Lau in Newcastle.  As a member of Tyde we reached the finals of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2009.  I also cross genres and play double bass in a jazz quintet.  I hope to become a professional performer on completion of the course and will look to teaching and workshop leading to support a developing performance career.


I am also enjoying studying music production through my music technology A level.  I am using the skills and techniques I have learnt over the past year to create interesting arrangements and bring new aspects to my performances and compositions.  Employing different technologies in the studio has given me a fresh perspective for arrangement and composition and will help me with any recording elements during the course.


In my life outside music I have a keen interest in photography and fine art; some of my work has been recognised in local competitions and displayed in Newcastle galleries.  I also regularly play volleyball for Tynedale.


I believe that studying at university will give me a level of understanding of traditional music that will provide the necessary basis on which I can build a career in my chosen genre.  I feel that this course has the necessary elements to provide that opportunity.

 

Folk & Traditional Music (2013 Entry)

I have been playing and composing music since the age of 12, when I first started playing the guitar.  Having come from a background of playing punk and post-rock music, at the age of 14, I was accepted into the Sage Gateshead's youth folk music ensemble, Folkestra, which is run by Kathryn Tickell.  This completely changed my outlook on both playing and composition.  I gradually re-shaped the way I play guitar, becoming more aware of rhythm and being forced by the nature of the music the ensemble played to listen out carefully for harmonies and potential chords.  This is what truly kick-started my love for folk music; as I started to gain knowledge of harmony, dynamics as a structural device and balance within an ensemble, I began to write and arrange tunes and trawl through tune books and websites such as Mairearad Green's 'Passing Places' and thesession.org looking for old and new tunes to play.


At 16, I decided to pick up the B/C button accordion as I felt I should learn how to play a more melody orientated instrument, and knew that many of the finest Irish players such as Sharon Shannon play boxes in this key.  This has been highly beneficial for my playing in general.  Because button accordions in this key have a very limited selection of chords for accompaniment, I had to work out how to make the tunes I played fit as best I could with the few chords I had available.  Also, playing an instrument which works on completely different principles to a guitar has broadened my horizons in terms of tune playing - if I learn a tune on one instrument and then subsequently learn it the other, I often find that there are possibilities for ornamentation and harmonies that would not have been immediately apparent had I continued to play the tune on just one instrument.
Around this time, I took up playing the mandolin.  I find this to be a convenient instrument to play as it offers the same range and symmetry of intervals as a fiddle, which makes many tunes much more accessible than on guitar or button accordion, whilst not requiring too much re-learning of technique from guitar playing.


I have played and sung in many other bands and ensembles, ranging from school ceilidh bands and choirs to a folk-punk band and a trio of two fiddle players and myself on guitar, all of which have developed my knowledge of arranging in different styles of music.  I currently play in a duo with another guitarist in which I play guitar, mandolin, button accordion, and also sing.  Our repertoire includes traditional songs and tunes, as well as re-interpretations of Bob Dylan songs and other, more modern songs and tunes.  We experiment with our arrangements as much as possible - a recent example of this, one of which I was particularly proud, was our version of the traditional tune Tam Lin with a dubstep-style backing.  The button accordion suits dubstep surprisingly well!  I find that playing in a duo is a satisfying challenge as it demands that both players stretch the limits of their instruments to keep the attention of the audience, due to the limited instrumental timbres.


I regularly busk in Newcastle and Hexham.  This has greatly developed my stamina whilst playing - often I will find that I have been playing for an hour and a half continuously, stopping only to think of the next set of tunes.  I have also learned something from busking that I feel is essential for any musician, that is, to keep playing whether I am making money or not.  I teach three children aged 8-12 the guitar.  This is beneficial for my own playing and learning of tunes in that I now understand better how tunes are memorised and how to teach more effectively - sharing and teaching being an integral part of playing folk music.


The reason why I want to study folk music at degree level is that playing it is the most significant activity in my life.  I base my week around the local folk sessions, band practices and gigs - and I wouldn't want it any other way.

 

Music (pre-2012 Entry)

I wish to study music at university because I have a passion for both the performance and the academic components of the subject.  I would like a career in classical and musical theatre performance as well as conducting.  By giving myself a strong academic base I would also have the option of going on to teach or to lecture.  My school career and extracurricular activities have given me an extensive knowledge of music and many chances to develop into a secure and proficient performer.


I am finding my A level music course fascinating. It is allowing me to extend my knowledge of music analysis, to become especially competent at Bach choral and baroque counterpoint techniques and develop my aural skills.  Through my interest in musical theatre, I have recently become interested in opera.  I have begun listening to many different styles from different periods which has allowed me to have an insight into the exciting range of sounds that the voice can produce.  I hope to see a full scale performance in the near future and continue increasing my understanding of the genre.  My drama A level complements my work in music as it has helped me see how using a range of musical devices can have an effect on an audience and has made me in to a confident performer.  Taking mathematics has given me logic skills that help with the theoretical elements of music.  My principal instrument is the recorder on which I started taking lessons at the age of 7 and I am now working towards my grade 8.  Playing a great deal of baroque music on the recorder is what has fuelled my interest in early music, particularly counterpoint techniques from the baroque era.  It is also the style of music I most enjoy playing and in which I have become particularly skilled at sightreading.  I plan to take grade 7 voice at the same time and I am enjoying learning challenging new pieces that are stretching the range of my voice.  I also play the bassoon and, though I have not yet taken any exams, I am playing to grade 8 standards.  As first bassoonist I have played with the county concert band and more recently the North Tyneside Orchestra which has extended my repertoire and skill on the instrument.  I intend to maintain my involvement in orchestras in the future and I am very keen to join a baroque orchestra.

 

I was recently chosen to sing the alto/soprano solo parts in "The Armed Man" by Karl Jenkins, which our school performed in Hexham Abbey.  I have been a member of choirs throughout my school life and I enjoy learning large scale choral works.  I love the sensation of being part of a powerful group which can have a profound effect on an audience, as well as having incredible opportunities to stretch myself as a solo singer.  Another style of singing I enjoy is a cappella, where I have benefitted from close harmony singing as it has improved my musical ear and the ability to pick out and sing separate parts.  In addition to this, I have also sung solos at The Sage Gateshead and other local venues, including with my school's Youth Theatre.  Since the age of 10 I have been a member of the local and school rowing clubs and I have achieved success at many local regattas.  I was chosen to represent the North region at the Junior Inter-regional Championship where I achieved a bronze medal in the J-18 coxed quad and silver in the J-18 eight.  It has shown me the importance of being fit and having the lung capacity to support my breathing when playing or singing.


Music has given me the happiest, most incredible and proudest moments of my life, moments that have made me certain that I want to make it the central element in my future.  I will bring an enormous amount of enthusiasm to the course along with all aspects of university life and I look forward to new opportunities as well as developing key skills in all areas of music.

 

Music (2013 Entry)

The diversity of music and its capacity to conjure an array of colours and emotions is something I've always found inspiring.  How does music change your emotions when you listen to it? What is it that gives you goosebumps?  I am applying for a music degree because of the magnetic effect music has on me and the joy it brings me.  After completing a music degree, I hope to complete a postgraduate course at a conservatoire where I can use the contextual and theoretical knowledge gained by a music degree to enhance my performances.


Having taken violin grade 8 in year 10, I passed the DipABRSM exam (music performance) in July.  I especially enjoyed researching for the Viva Voce and discovering how historical context and personal circumstances affected the composition of my chosen pieces.  This research left me with a 'buzz' and since my diploma I have read many biographies of composers whose music I am playing.  In a similar way, I have found A level music stimulating and have particularly enjoyed analyzing the scores of set works.  A level music, combined with my diploma research, has brought me to appreciate the breadth and diversity musical study offers and I am excited about exploring the variety of areas available in a music degree.


As a performer, I won the Tynedale Music Festival 16 years and under class for three consecutive years, and this year also won the Under 18 and Unaccompanied Bach class.  I find solo performances exhilarating, and love sharing my interpretation of music with an audience, though I also find orchestral and chamber works exciting.  I lead school and county orchestras and have co-led the North-East regional orchestra Young Sinfonia.  Through this, I have been able to play alongside professional orchestras, enabling me to learn from experienced players whilst developing my orchestral skills.  I rehearse regularly with a string quartet, which plays for weddings, community events and The Samling Foundation's garden parties.  We participated in a masterclass with Carducci Quartet and I also performed in a masterclass with Henning Kraggerud, as a soloist.


I am in my second year of an organ scholarship at Hexham Abbey which involves diverse training and I won the Ryton Music Festival organ class with distinction.  I have taken grade 7 in flute and piano and am taking grade 8 in both in November 2012.  Working on Saturdays in the Hexham Violin Shop has enabled me to observe a luthier at work and learn from the way he solves problems.  This year, I have been invited to teach the violin in the local Middle School.  I am expected to write practice diaries for students and write reports at the end of the year.  This, alongside some teaching I do outside the school, is developing my communication because I am learning to express points in a variety of ways to help pupils fully understand.


Singing is something I enjoy and I have been a member of the National Children's choir of Great Britain, and was Head Chorister of Hexham Abbey girls' choir in the academic year 2009-2010.  I was also sponsored by the Abbey to attend an Eton Choral Course in July and meeting new people on this course improved my confidence and ability to make friends in new situations.  Whilst being involved with many musical groups, I really enjoy sport and participate in the local Athletics club, as well as taking ballet classes twice weekly in preparation for the grade 6 exam.  As a member of the Hexham Abbey Congregation, I have been involved in the production of a children's magazine 'Take This' and its sister magazine 'Epiphany', which is sent to schools and churches around the UK.  Producing this magazine has taught me how to meet strict deadlines and work closely with other members of the team when writing joint articles.


I am excited about pursuing music in a focused and rich environment, yet still being able to mix with a wider variety of students and experience the opportunities that a university course offers.

 

Music (2013 Entry)

I never cease to be intrigued by the beauty and complexity of music, and I am excited by the prospect of pursuing the subject at degree level.  I find that listening to a particular piece can have an effect on immediate emotions, but can leave a lasting feeling of exhilaration.  I am curious about how musical devices can do this.  I find studying music to be immensely rewarding due to the variety of challenges presented by both its academic and practical aspects.


Since I began playing the 'cello at the age of seven I have enjoyed practising, performing, and playing in a variety of ensembles.  In year 11, I achieved 'cello grade eight with distinction. I passed the ABRSM diploma this year, and also won the Avison Ensemble's Young Musician of the Year award for the second time.  In preparation for the Diploma, I wrote programme notes and did a lot of research for the viva voce.  This work left me feeling energised and I particularly enjoyed reading 'The Red Priest of Venice' by Susan Adams.  It was fascinating to learn about what influenced Vivaldi's compositions, and also the progression of instruments through Baroque to Classical era.


As well as playing the 'cello, I have grade six singing and regularly sing as a member of Hexham Abbey choir.  I have been a member of the choir for 5 years, was head chorister in the academic year 2009-10, and am now a choral scholar.  The Abbey sponsored my place on an Eton Choral course this summer.  It was fantastic to sing keystones of the choral repertoire with other enthusiastic young people.  I am a keen participant in our main, and sixth form school choirs.  I was chosen to open our carol concert with a solo.


My experience of playing chamber music is becoming extensive.  For several years I played in the 'Trinsky' trio which had engagements at Beverley Early Music Festival, Brinkburn Festival, Samling annual garden party, and was invited to take part in a masterclass run by the Carducci Quartet.  The trio acquired a viola player earlier this year and we rehearse weekly as a quartet.  I also lead a 'cello trio which won the Avison ensemble's group of the year award 2012, and the Tynedale music festival ensemble award.  Furthermore, attending a Pro-corda course was incredibly useful for my development as a chamber musician.  One of the highlights was playing Mendelssohn Octet.  Bigger ensembles include the National Children's orchestra and the Young Sinfonia, a regional youth orchestra based at the Sage, Gateshead.  I am also leader of the 'cellos in Northumberland County Symphony and Chamber orchestras, and school orchestra.


Summer activities are always an opportunity to explore music making, and this year I attended a Rehearsal Orchestra course which involved playing through lots of symphonies, expanding my repertoire, and having the experience of living in student halls in Edinburgh for a week.  This summer, I made learning keyboard skills a priority to assist with harmony and counterpoint study.  I took grade three this September and am on track to take grade five this academic year.  Teaching myself the piano has proved straightforward so far; I am about to start regular lessons.


In addition to the music that goes on in my life, I enjoy studying biology and maths.  I have learnt to approach complex problems from a logical perspective.  My interest in science was enhanced by taking an Open University short course titled 'Molecules, Medicines, and Drugs; a Chemical Story', which gave me the valuable experience of undergraduate level study.  I am a store volunteer for Oxfam and trained as a peer mentor at school.  Mentoring has been a valuable personal development experience as I have become more aware of how to communicate effectively and be empathetic with younger students, while also having to keep within the mentoring framework.

 

I believe my organisation, determination, and musicianship will equip me well for a degree in music, and I am really looking forward to the next stage of my studies.

 

Music (2014 Entry)

Music has always been central to my life - my father was a professional violinist, travelling around Europe playing folk music for many years so I have been exposed to a wide range of music from an early age.  My musical background is anchored in classical music, particularly the English choral tradition and I am developing my interest in the wider vocal repertoire, including opera.  I spent part of this summer in Italy appreciating the culture and improving my accent which has enhanced my performance of Italian arias.  The deeper knowledge of theory and analysis that I would gain at university will build upon the skills I have developed so far, increasing my ability to analyse chords and musical devices both on paper and aurally.


I have a very busy musical schedule requiring me to be highly organised.  Having been a chorister at Hexham Abbey Choir for 9 years, and currently Head Chorister, I have learned about the English choral tradition and improved my sight singing.  I sing with the Gateshead Sage youth choir 'Quay Voices' working alongside professional musicians, performing solos and touring.  As part of the BBC Proms Youth Choir I performed Tippet's, 'A Child of Our Time' with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall.  I am a keen member of my school choir and the Sixth Form a-cappella ensemble and often have the responsibility of solos such as Faure's Pie Jesu and Handel's I know that my Redeemer Liveth.  I am also a member of the National Youth Training Choir.  Singing in these choirs has taught me to balance techniques of solo singing with the skill of blending my voice with others.  I was selected to sing soprano in performance with Andy Sheppard in his composition, 'Flying- in 3/4 Time'.  Written for the Sage youth jazz ensemble 'Jambone' and four voices, the piece was performed in both the Gateshead and Manchester International Jazz Festivals.  I experienced a new way of singing involving improvisation which, though out of my comfort zone, I enjoyed very much.  In my singing lessons I am continuing to expand my repertoire particularly Schubert lieder.  I have found that playing piano at grade 6 level assists me with harmony and counterpoint.


The unique experience of the Eton Choral Course allowed me to be fully immersed in choral music and to have top class tuition and vocal coaching.  Gaining a place in the Samling Academy challenged me to make connections between my analytical ability, historical and contextual knowledge and performance.  I worked with musicians including pianist James Baillieu and vocal coach Paul Farrington during master classes with a final performance at the Sage Gateshead.  Being a recipient of effective coaching has informed my own teaching; I work as the assistant leader of a local children's choir, 'Minims', and enjoy hearing and learning about how children's voices develop.  Building a repertoire of songs for children will be particularly useful as part of my future career portfolio.


As part of the Human Rights Group at school I travelled to India, staying in a Tibetan monastery where I experienced a completely different lifestyle and learnt about the Tibetans' struggle for freedom.  With inspiration from the trip, I co-founded the 'Free Tibet Action Group in the North'.  Outside of school I am part of 'Candles', a discussion group where I have learned to articulate my arguments and debate confidently, allowing my opinions to be challenged.  With this group I travelled to a monastic community in Burgundy, which is devoted to international peace through singing prayers and meditation.  Both of these experiences brought home the importance of music in both the Buddhist and Christian monks' lives.


I am keeping my future career options open however I hope to study singing at conservatoire at postgraduate level.  I am excited about the prospect of making music with other enthusiastic musicians and studying music at university.

 

Musical Theatre (pre-2012 Entry)

I would love to be able to study musical theatre further to broaden my knowledge and abilities and work alongside people with the same passion.


Studying the Musical Theatre BTEC has improved my confidence and enjoyment as a performer, as well as introducing and developing new skills and techniques.  This includes performing at the Queens Hall with the National Youth Dance Company, entering and competing in Youth Dance England and performing many plays and solos as parts of the assessments.  I am also a member of the school's Youth Theatre performing two musicals per year.


A course discipline that I enjoyed and excelled in was choreography, including learning about different choreographers, the way they work and their influences on the evolution of dance.  I choreographed a duet using the stimuli of domestic abuse.  I immersed myself into the successful completion of this task, learned a lot about choreographing and developing and adapting movement.

In drama I have performed in a range of styles and genres including a performance of sections from many different plays.  I enjoyed the development of this piece and the challenge of changing quickly between characters.  I was part of the team that organised all rehearsals, lessons and advertising for this performance.  Undertaking this project made me appreciate the skills of working together as a team and meeting deadlines.

 

Singing is the discipline in which I have made the most improvement.  My confidence has grown hugely in both singing harmonies and performing solos in character.  Initially I found it very daunting singing solo to an audience: now that I have overcome this barrier I can't wait for any chance to get up and perform.  I auditioned for and gained a place on the Arts Ed Easter School and I also attended an audition technique summer school at Mount View Academy to extend my experiences.  Both gave me valuable advice, tips and insights on the training on a full time musical theatre course and how to prepare for auditions.


I am a member of two different dance schools.  In 2004 I won a place on Dance City's Advanced Training Programme.  This programme has greatly improved my fitness, flexibility and technique and given me the opportunity to watch rehearsals and performances of many different visiting dance companies.  I also attend Newcastle Dance Centre which offers training in more commercial styles of dance and musical theatre and has helped me to become a more versatile performer and given me the opportunity to perform to larger audiences.

I recently volunteered to teach the dance club at my local middle school.  I have great fun as I choreograph and teach the children different dance routines and styles.  I hold a pool lifeguard qualification and my part time work at a leisure club has helped me to develop my maturity, people skills and confidence as I have often had to deal with demanding customers requiring my help or assistance.

 

I have found the last few years increasingly challenging, stimulating and enjoyable as I have expanded my experiences of musical theatre and dance.  I have chosen to further study musical theatre as I love all three disciplines within it and I relish the opportunity to improve my performance skills and capabilities.

Last modified: Thursday, 29 May 2014, 12:58 PM