Musical Notes

Fulfilling potential.

St Augustine’s Priory is full of talented children who pursue their calling not only in school but also outside.  Whether their interests lie in writing, music, sport, drama or any of the other thousands of areas available in life, all the pupils here have talents and gifts galore. 

Carlotta, Lower V, is a prime example of how talent and hard work combine for success.  She is a key player in the musical life of St Augustine’s Priory and here writes about this year and how she has pursued her musical life, despite the pandemic.

‘I am a Margaret Dormer scholar and I joined St Augustine’s Priory in Form III. I play the viola and the violin and I love music more than anything else. I am part of the National Children’s Orchestra and National Children’s Choir and I also play in the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. When I grow up I want to be a professional musician. 

Over the past year, I have been working towards my junior conservatoire music auditions. These auditions are extremely competitive and they only take very few children every year . You need to work hard and prepare for a long time. Throughout the whole of the last year, I have worked very hard to gain a place. I have practised one hour every day and I have attended as many masterclasses as I could. I applied for the Guildhall School, Royal Academy and Royal College of Music. I was already at the Junior Department of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire. The only live audition I could sit was the one for the Guildhall School and they offered me a place one week after my audition! The  coronavirus pandemic meant I could not take the other two auditions in person; I had to send in a recording of my performance. At home I do not have the facilities to record in such a way for an audition, however, the Music Department kindly let me do my recordings at school, where I was accompanied by Dr Higgins, the Director of Music. During the weeks that followed I sent the audition videos off to the conservatoires.

After weeks of waiting, I received offers from the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. It was very difficult to make a decision but, finally, I chose the Royal Academy of Music. They only offered a place to six children this year. I feel very very proud of being one of them! 

Since September, I have attended the Royal Academy of Music to learn violin and viola. I also take part in the Sinfonia Orchestra, musicianship, choir and a small chamber group, all of which I find extremely helpful and enjoyable. I can only attend in person once every four weeks and those days are special to me. The rest of the lessons are currently online.

One day soon I hope this pandemic will end, then I will be able to see my friends at the Academy every Saturday!’