CFT Enrichment Scholarships

Hannah attends Eton Choral Course

Hannah Drew

CFT Enrichment Scholarship 2016

During my last year at St Mary’s I applied for the Calne Foundation Trust Enrichment Scholarship, awarded to girls in the Sixth Form to fund an academic or gap year endeavour. In my case, I applied to help fund my ambition of attending an Eton Choral Course in the summer after I left St Mary’s, and this Scholarship was the perfect opportunity.

Having studied Music at A Level, combined with my passion for singing, the board accepted my initial proposal and invited me to a meeting to talk to them further. This meeting was a brilliant way for me to explain the merits of the course and show the panel how much the chance to go would mean to me. They were incredibly welcoming and excited to hear about what I wanted to do, and after a few days I received the news that they had given me the scholarship enabling me to attend the course.

The Eton Choral Courses are week-long, residential courses for singers aged 16-20 created by Ralph Allwood. I participated in the first ‘Adult’ Course for 18-20 year olds at Eastbourne College. The week provides intensive but fun training in a plethora of choral music, and I was shocked at how much I learned in one week. Being surrounded by like-minded people keen to create great music was very rewarding, and my sight singing in particular improved. I made friends also applying to Conservatoires in October, which built my confidence and hugely helped with the process itself, making it less daunting. I found my accompanist who came and played for all of my auditions at the course, and having him there was a great comfort as he knew my style and personal performance well.

To think that I would not have had that without the course makes me incredibly grateful for it, as my application to Trinity Laban was successful and I shall be going there in September. In addition to this, in February I am auditioning for Trinity’s Chapel Choir, the only one of its type in the country, run by Ralph himself. The list of incredible opportunities, connections and experiences that week has provided me and knowing that the Calne Foundation Trust Enrichment Scholarship is the reason I was able to do it makes me unbelievably grateful.

It has been the perfect parting gift from my time at Calne and to all the girls in the Sixth Form now, if there is something you want to do, know that the Trust has your interest and growth as a girl at the forefront. I do believe it was one of the best decisions I made at school, and certainly one of the biggest rewards. I cannot thank all the trustees and team that lead the Trust enough.

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