Hello! I'm Lawrence. As some of you might know, I used to work for employers such as The Boeing Company and most recently Ernst & Young (EY). What some of you may not know is that I have also studied cello performance since the age of eight with several renown pedagogues!
In the Spring of 2013, after many months of thought and with support of friends and colleagues, I decided to leave my career in business in order to completely focus on my musical aspirations. I've been training every day since to gain acceptance to a world class conservatory.
Ever since I moved to New York City to begin work at EY in mid-2012, I began studying with James Kreger of the Metropolitan Opera who had accepted me as a private student. Mr. Kreger taught at Juilliard for nearly three decades and he has been an influential teacher and mentor in my life. More than anything, he has inspired me to become the best cellist I can be and helped me realize that there is much more to discover about myself through music. Over the last year and a half, I have been working intensively with him every Sunday to elevate my cello playing to new levels.
My decision to pursue the performing arts
I was very grateful to have my job at EY. However, during this period I was also experiencing incredible growth as an artist and found so much inspiration for my music through my teacher and in New York City. Over time, a deep yearning within me, and a rediscovery of my childhood dreams, grew stronger and stronger to the point that it was something I couldn't ignore. I desired to return to school and realize my potential as a classical musician even if it meant failing or forgoing my steady salary in the process. The challenge and process of growing as a musician is what excites me and gets me up in the morning more than anything else.
The Royal College of Music
I initially looked at a number of top conservatories in the US. However, after a conversation with my teacher, I began looking into conservatories in the UK, Germany, and France. That is when I began to learn about the Royal College of Music, one of the finest conservatories in the world and one that is rich in history (alumnus include legendary musical figures such as Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Colin Davis, Neville Mariner, and Gustav Holst). Soon after, I emailed the college and came in contact with Professor Alastair Blayden, sub-principle in the London Symphony Orchestra.
Professor Blayden came to my apartment in Brooklyn several months ago while on tour with the London Symphony to hear me play cello, and I found him to be humble, incredibly disciplined, and a cellist with high musical integrity. Afterwards, I felt extremely eager to pursue studies with him and after many, many months of focused practice, I finally auditioned at the Royal College. After a few rounds of auditions and interviews in front of cello faculty and the head of the string department, I was accepted to the Royal College to study with Professor Blayden!
Why I am asking for your help!
I am beyond thrilled to have finally reached the goal I set out to achieve eight months ago. It is my proudest accomplishment to date. But as you can imagine, studies at a conservatory can be expensive and the cost of living in London is quite high.
The goal of my crowd funding campaign is to raise funds specifically to help me move to London and support myself as I search for a part-time job with my work visa to become self-sufficient (the fund goal represents the estimated cost of living for my first year in US dollars). Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the job market in London, but having funds will ensure that I am able to focus immediately on my music while having enough time to find the appropriate job to balance with my studies.
Although I realize that studying and living in London is quite expensive, I believe it is worth the investment. The Royal College of Music has some of the finest cello professors in the world and prepares students for international careers in the performing arts. The city itself is incredibly rich in classical tradition and full of talented musicians from all over Europe, and there are unlimited ways one can find inspiration for his/her music and personal growth in London.
My goal for life beyond the conservatory is to teach a few cello students and to one day perform in opera or ballet. This will take much effort, perseverance, and hard work, but with a little bit of help from everyone I can step closer to my goal by training with world class professors and collaborating with talented musicians from around the world.
I am incredibly grateful for any contribution as everyone's collective support with make a HUGE impact on my ability to study music in London. Thank you for reading and for your support as I continue to pursue my aspirations in music.
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