Music Award Holder Profiles 2017-18 Music Award Holder Profiles 2017-18

Please find below bios written by our current and previous Music Award holders. Click on each name to find out more about the students and learn how they have benefited from their awards.

UEA Music Award Holders Profiles UEA Music Award Holders Profiles

Laura Ali (AMA) - Flute

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Hi! My name is Laura and I’m a second year Art History student. I have been making music since the age of 7 and have grown up listening to and playing a wide variety of genres. Having passed my Grade 8 flute with Distinction, this award now gives me the amazing opportunity to gain tuition and support towards developing my skills further as both a solo performer and ensemble member, being a member of the Music Society’s Concert Band and Flute Choir. I also play the piano and sing, and have been greatly enjoying the opportunity to sing alto in the UEA Choir. I also look forward to performing later in the year with the newly formed Christmas A Capella group, and towards developing skills in composition and performance as part of the Live Music Society. Within my degree studies I have been exploring my interest in ethnomusicology, and I am grateful to the Music Award for providing me with opportunities to travel to and experience the music of different cultures during my upcoming study year abroad.

Joanna Boyd (ENV) - Oboe

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Hello I’m Joanna and I’m in my first year at UEA studying Geography. I have been playing the oboe and piano since the age of 7 years old and I passed grade 8 piano and oboe with distinction in 2016. Since then, I have become a member of UEA Symphony Orchestra and UEA Concert Band, both of which I have been enjoying immensely. I have also taken up the role of Symphony Orchestra Publicity Manager which has enabled me to contribute to the admin side of the orchestra, as well as challenging me to practise my organisation skills! The music award has provided me with opportunities to improve my confidence at performing, as well as enabling me to continue oboe lessons, with the hope of undertaking an oboe diploma in the future.


Elanor Cadzow (HSC) - Bassoon

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Hi, I am Ellie and I am a 2nd year physiotherapy student. After previously studying at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, I did not play for over 2 years. Starting a new degree was a fresh start for everything and that included playing the bassoon. Since then, I have played in the UEA Symphony Orchestra, been a guest player in the King's College Music Society in Cambridge and have started a wind quintet here at UEA. I hope to perform with my quintet this year as well as performing as a soloist in concerts internally at UEA as well as out.

Simon Carter (PHA) - Tenor

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My name's Simon and I'm in my first year of reading Pharmacy. I have been singing as a tenor both as a soloist and chorally for the last five years, in that time I achieved my grade 8 with distinction and performed as a soloist in works such as Bach's Magnificat, Jean Gilles' Messe de Morts and the Messiah by Handel. In the time so far at UEA I have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved with the Chamber choir whilst also co-founding a Barbershop quartet and collaborating to restart the Opera society. I hope to use the music award to improve my all round musicianship and skills as a singer particularly through continued lessons with an operatic focus. 

Katie Carvell (HSC) - Oboe

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Hello, I'm Katie and I'm a second year Occupational Therapy Student. I started playing oboe at the age of 9 and haven't looked back since! I have always loved being a part of classical ensembles and I am currently playing oboe in the UEA's Symphony Orchestra. In addition to this, I play in other chamber ensembles and have just set up an Oboe Trio with two other Award Holders! My favourite composers include Saints-Saens, Mozart, Grieg and Elgar. I am so grateful to have achieved this Music Award, as it has given me the confidence to branch out and explore my musical interests and passions, for example joining a choir and playing challenging chamber repertoire.

Lucas Chan (PSY) - Violin

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Lucas is a third-year psychology student. He has been studying violin for 8 years and is very passionate about classical music. Studying in Norwich has given him opportunities to develop his musical ability further. He is currently playing in Norwich Philharmonic and the Sillars orchestra which provide him with very precious orchestral experiences. The UEA music society string ensemble is also established and led by Lucas. He believes a student-led and chamber-sized bowed string ensemble is invaluable to students’ musical lives in the university. As a UEA music award holder, he hopes that the string ensemble will continue to serve students and be supported by the university and audience in Norwich. 

Astrid Coxon (MED) - Mezzo-Soprano

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I’m Astrid, a mezzo-soprano and casual double bass player. I’ve been a keen  musician since I took up the piano at 5 years old, and since then have played and sung in a variety of groups and settings, including singing at weddings, and leading a 20-piece double bass ensemble. I enjoy a wide variety of music, but a few of my favourite composers include Weill, Gorecki, and most of the “big Russians” (Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shostakovich etc.)! When I’m not making music, I’m a PHD student in MED, researching process implementation in hospital settings, and currently writing up my thesis. My background is in philosophy and psychology, and I am currently an associate tutor for the BSc Psychology module on Qualitative Research Methods. I believe that music can have a profound positive impact on mental wellbeing, and I look forward to exploring opportunities to use music to improve the health and wellbeing of students and staff at UEA.

James Darley (LDC) - Guitar

James Darley Photo

Hello, my name is James and I'm a 21 year old English Literature student, and an avid guitarist. I've been playing in bands since I was 13, and have been in two bands in my time at UEA. With Dazy Crown and Treacle People, I have played all over the city, starting in small pubs like the Murderer's Arms, and working our way up to playing at big venues like the Waterfront. My musical interests are always changing and growing, and at the moment I am particularly interested in composing ambient noise scores for short films, using just the guitar. For projects such as this, I've been influenced by classical composers, such as Gabriel Fauré, and contemporary electronic producers, such as Nils Frahm, trying to channel the new and old simultaneously. Whilst many people think that the guitarists who play the fastest are the best, I am a firm believer in space! For me, music must allow each note its time to reverberate and persist, and every note must be there for a reason, for there to be true and beautiful harmony in a piece of music. In this way, minimalism in guitar is a very interesting idea to me, and ambient artists like F.S. Blumm and Daniel Lanois, as well as more popular minimalists like Joey Santiago and Johnny Marr, are my favourites. 

Music has the ability to save people's lives, and make us appreciate our world's beauty, and the UEA Music Award is encouraging music's perpetuation amazingly, by offering students, like me (who may not be classically trained), the opportunity to improve and change our musical worlds.

Abigail Gunn (HIS) - Flute

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I’m Abigail, and I’m a third year history student and a flute player. I’ve been playing the flute since the age of seven, and have participated in a multitude of orchestras and ensembles throughout my life. Since joining UEA, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with the music society, playing in the Concert Band and participating in joint performances with Drama Society, and have recently joined the UEASO. The Music Award has provided me with the resources to start a flute ensemble within the music society, while also giving me the opportunity to improve my playing even further.

Abielle Hallas (DEV) - Cello

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I’m Abielle, I’m a cellist, and I’m studying an MA in International Social Development. I love the Romantics, but I couldn’t ever just pick one, and Shostakovich. This is my fourth year playing in the UEA Symphony Orchestra, and i really enjoyed playing my favourite symphony (Dvorak 8th). I am also Orchestra Manager for the fourth year running.

This is also my fourth year receiving a Music Award, which has allowed me to carry on lessons. This has given me the opportunity to perform in the Norfolk County Music Festival (receiving two Outstanding certificates in 2017), a solo in Duruflé’s Requiem with UEA Choir, various quartets and ensembles, and as a soloist. Over the last three years I have gained so much confidence in my solo playing, and am now working towards my Diploma.

Jess Honey (LDC) - Soprano

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I’m Jess and I’m in my second year studying English Literature. I’ve loved singing since I was a child, especially in choirs. I particularly focus on classical singing but I also enjoy singing Musical Theatre and Jazz, especially Ella Fitzgerald. I passed my singing performance diploma in 2015 and I’m hoping to work towards a second diploma this year. Being involved in music at UEA has been a joy, especially singing in Chamber Choir and playing my saxophone in Jazz Collective. The Music Centre Award has been fantastic because it’s allowed me to take singing lessons and to improve as a musician. 

Abigail Langley (ENV) - Oboe

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Hello, I’m Abi and I’m currently in my first year of studying for a BSc in Geography. I have been playing oboe for 10 years now. Since joining UEA this September I have greatly enjoyed being a part of the Symphony Orchestra and playing in an oboe trio. I have also taken up the position of UEASO librarian. My musical background is dominated by orchestral playing (in the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra among others), however I have also had the opportunity to conduct and lead smaller instrumental ensembles and choirs. My solo repertoire has included music from Baroque to 20th century and I am looking to specialise in 20th century pieces because of my new-found love of composers such as Poulenc, Arnold and Britten. The award will help me to pursue this aim by enabling me to purchase new music, attend masterclasses and continue lessons.

Yan Low (BIO) - Piano

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My name is Yan Low and I’m a second year Biochemistry student. I have been playing the piano since I was seven years old. I love playing piano since I can express all my emotions and feelings on the notes, no matter it is cheerful or sad. I passed the ABRSM grade 8 piano with distinction in 2014. With my passion for music, I played the piano accompaniment for my class in the choir singing competition in high school and I provided piano accompaniment in a band for the University of East Anglia Showchoir. I also played the piano as a band member in the UEA Live Music Society. Besides, I am keen on song writing, I have composed three pieces of songs so far. The Music Award has enabled me to keep improving my piano playing whilst taking advantage of the musical opportunities UEA has to offer. 

Polly Paulusma (LDC) - Vocals and Guitar

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Hello, I’m Polly Paulusma and I’m now in my second year of a part-time Literature PhD as a CHASE scholar at UEA. Last year I was lucky enough to receive a Music Award and I used the money to buy a stereo pair of microphones and new stands for my home studio, which I have used loads this year for both my own recordings and collaborations with musicians such as Stylusboy, Kathryn Williams and Danny and the Champions of the World. I have been a singer, songwriter, recording artist, and producer for the last 20 years, signing to Bjork’s record label One Little Indian in 2003. I released two self-penned studio albums and two sister-albums with them to international acclaim; during that time I toured the USA, Europe, and the UK many times, and supported Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Jamie Cullum, The Divine Comedy, and played Glastonbury, T in the Park, and V Festival, amongst many others. In 2012 I founded a small indie-folk record label called Wild Sound to release my third studio album, Leaves from the Family Tree, and signed another nine artists to it in the subsequent years. This year the label moved back to be a folk imprint on One Little Indian. I am writing and recording towards my fourth album and will use the Music Award money this year to update my preamp and Protools rig ahead of that recording project. I’m so excited about the Lunchtime Songwriters group which I started last year with Emily Parish; this year we have an amazing helper in Sam Creed and I’m hoping we can grow the group so that we can all write with a diverse range of artists, experiment in our songwriting, and perform a gig to showcase our works. I look forward to encouraging and facilitating more songwriting amongst UEA students!

Ronce Saputil (BIO) - Piano

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My name is Ronce Saputil, I am a masters student studying Molecular Medicine, and I have been playing the piano since I was thirteen years old. I have previously offered accompaniment, played hymns for church mass, and took part in several individual performances. I love music, from electronic music raves to orchestral performances. On the piano, romantic pieces are my favourite - especially those by Chopin and Debussy. Through the UEA Music Award, I am excited to increase my engagement with UEA’s music societies, develop my musical technique by seeking tutoring (and build a repertoire that isn’t just romantic!), rebuild my confidence in performing with a group, and ultimately rekindle my passion for public piano performance. I am particularly keen on exploring jazz music. 

Zachary Starr (CMP) - French Horn

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Hi there, I’m Zach and I’m a first year Actuarial Science student. I have been playing the French Horn and Piano for the last 12 years. I have been involved in various choirs and orchestras during my time at school, which has allowed me to develop as a musician. I hope to use the Music Award to further this progress. I am a member of the Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and I am currently in the process of co-founding a Barbershop Quartet at UEA. I am also a Deputy Tenor Lay Clerk at Norwich Cathedral.

Joshua Ward (HIS) - Violin

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Hello, my name is Joshua Ward and I am currently in my third year of History at UEA. I play a number of instruments, the main two being the violin and the drum kit, and I am also a singer. I have grown up playing in many ensembles of varying size and genre, from orchestras and choirs to big bands and folk groups. At UEA, I play violin in the UEASO, sing in the Chamber Choir and conduct the Music Society’s Big Band (for which I formerly played the drums). I also occasionally play gigs for the Music Society, which last year included performing with a jazz quartet for the 2017 graduation ceremonies.  This year will be the third year I have received a Music Award from the Music Centre. Overall, the Music Awards have given me the enterprise to gain new experiences as well as ensuring I have the means to support any music-related endeavours. They have also ensured that I maintain a good relationship with the Music Centre, and that as a representative of the prestigious Music Award at this large university, I strive for a high standard in my music making. 

Chi Kin Yau (NBS) - Piano

Hello, I am Jacky and I am in my first year studying Accounting and Finance. I have been learning to play the piano since the age of 4 and fell in love with it. I have also attained distinction in ATCL and participated as a piano soloist in different competitions. Joining the UEA Music Award can help me explore more in music that is new to me, such as being involved in chamber music and accompaniment, both of which are challenging and exciting, as well as helping me to meet new friends and broadening my horizons.