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

UEA Music Centre Scholarship Profiles UEA Music Centre Scholarship Profiles

Kate Davies (CHE) - Flute

Hi, I’m Kate and I am a first year chemistry student at UEA. I started playing the piano when I was 7 and then started the flute aged 10. I gained my Grade 8 piano in 2014 and my flute Diploma in 2017. Outside of school I was selected to play in the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra, gaining valuable experience playing in larger ensembles. It was a wonderful opportunity to perform at a variety of venues around East Anglia. Other musical experience includes the Norfolk Symphonic Wind Band and smaller ensembles such as flute choir and woodwind quintet at Norfolk Centre for young musicians in partnership with Guildhall. Currently I am really enjoying being part of the UEA Symphony Orchestra. The music scholarship programme has introduced me to so many talented musicians to work with. Joining ensembles is a great way to make friends and have fun alongside my other studies.

Ashleigh Strain (LDC) - Soprano

I am 18 years old and have been performing since I was really little. I achieved Grade 8 Singing with Merit last year and love singing both classical music and musical theatre. I’m a Drama student at UEA and am currently involved in rehearsals for “Sweet Charity”. I hope this Music Award will help me to branch out to new skills and hopefully even new instruments!

Imogen Cliff (CHE) - Harp

Hi, I’m Immy and I’m a first year chemistry student. I started playing harp at the age of 5 and have grown up loving a very wide range of genres of music. I am really enjoying playing in UEASO and can’t wait to play in some smaller chamber groups. I studied Harp and Flute at Junior Trinity for 4 years and have played with the Reigate Harp Ensemble and International Harp Ensemble. In my spare time I play guitar and bass and I also enjoy arranging songs for harp. I passed grade 8 harp with distinction in 2016 and am working towards a diploma. 

Emily Boore (EDU) - Soprano

My name is Em Boore and I’m studying BA Education with a potential year abroad. I have been singing since a young age and was initially classically trained before also attending Musical Theatre classes at Italia Conti in London, where I played Prudy Pingleton in a production of Hairspray. I have attained my grade 8 LCM Musical Theatre and my grade 8 Trinity College of London singing. I was in the school Chapel Choir from year 6 to year 13 where I was awarded the position of ‘Head Chorister’ singing both 1stand 2nd Soprano. I was regularly given solos to sing in services and concerts, as well as on tour at Berlin Cathedral last year. I also was part of my school’s Show Choir singing accapella, Wolsey Consort, and also sang with the Big Band. I am currently part of the UEA Chamber Choir as well as working towards my Musical Theatre Diploma.

Laura Davey (BIO) - Viola

Hi, I’m Laura and I am in my first year studying Ecology. I have been playing the viola since around the age of eight and passed my Grade 8 with distinction in 2016. I have also found a real love of singing and have been singing alto for around 4 years. I really enjoy being part of lots of different ensembles; I am part of the UEA Symphony Orchestra and the UEA Chamber Choir and also play in a string quartet. Being part of the Music Scholarship programme has not only introduced me to lots of lovely new people, but it has also given me new opportunities to further my musical skills, for example, I have just started playing in a trio comprised of flute, viola and harp which is a completely new experience for me! I have been able to throw myself into the music making here at UEA and I look forward to developing my musical abilities further and improving as a musician. 

Lily Johnston (LDC) - Cello

Hi, I’m Lily and I’m in my first year studying English Literature at UEA. I started playing the cello at the age of 8 and achieved a Distinction in my Grade 8 in 2016. I’ve played regularly in various string groups and Chamber Orchestras from a young age, and since coming to UEA, I’ve joined the Symphony Orchestra as well as a quartet. Previously, I have also played in many musicals as principle cellist in the pit orchestra such as Mack and Mabel and Oliver, which have been great experiences! Some of my favourite performances so far have been playing Mahler 1 and taking part in a cello octet.

Oliver Maxwell (ENV) - Violin

Hi, I’m Oli and I’m a first year Geophysics student who’s been playing the violin for 10 years. I achieved a distinction in grade 8 in 2016 and played with the Surrey County Youth Orchestra for 3 years before coming to UEA, where I have joined the UEASO and helped to form a string quartet. Music has always been a big part of my life, and the UEA music award has enabled me to continue to invest into music that I want to play and into lessons, both of which help me to work towards a performance diploma on the instrument that I hope to achieve in my time here.

Sophie Darbyshire (HSC) - Clarsach

I grew up in Edinburgh and started playing the Clarsach (Celtic Harp) while studying at high school. I fell in love with the sound of the harp and continued playing outside of school, going on to compete at the Royal National MOD in Stornoway where I attained a Bronze medal in the solo competition. Prior to moving to Norwich to study physiotherapy I was regularly playing at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. I was delighted to receive a Music Award at UEA. I am passionate about the joy music can bring to people's lives and am organising a performance in St John’s House Care Home, to take the sound of the Clarsach to the residents.