Kerry’s Postgraduate Singing Fund!
Studying under the tuition of Andrew Heggie, I am a visually impaired soprano based in Manchester looking to develop my skills as a performer with a view to pursuing a solo singing career. I have been offered a place to study for a full-time postgraduate advanced diploma at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, which will begin in September. This is an extremely exciting and fulfilling opportunity that I would like to seize, but I need to raise £10000 for the course fees, and a further £10000 for accommodation costs. Thanks to several local trusts and charities, I have already raised a small portion of these funds, but there is still some way to go, and so I have created this page in the hope that people might wish to contribute. Every little helps, so even the smallest contribution will be gratefully received.
On a personal level, gaining a place at a conservatoire has been especially important. As a blind performer, I am particularly keen to demonstrate how disabled singers can integrate into the mainstream operatic world. Although the breaking down of discriminatory and attitudinal barriers is certainly in operation, I believe we still have some way to go. During auditions, I am often asked questions about my disability that overshadow my skills as a performer. Sometimes I am told I have what is required for a particular part, but because of my lack of vision it would be too difficult or impractical for me to perform. At other times, experiences have been more positive, and conductors and directors have been keen for me to be integrated into performances. In these situations, we have all learnt from each other, and outcomes have been highly successful. Trinity Laban have shown a strong interest towards inclusion and, in studying here, I hope to gain the knowledge and skills to enhance the possibility of integration, and to set the stage for future disabled performers.
I am an enthusiastic and dedicated musician with a varied vocal experience that spans opera, oratorio and art song, as well as jazz. I have also recently completed a PhD in ethnomusicology at The University of Manchester. Both inside and outside of university, I have featured regularly as a soloist in concerts and operatic performances, and have participated in master classes with singers such as Dame Felicity Lott.
So far, I have had great pleasure in singing in all sorts of settings. I would relish the opportunity to take my music making as far as I can, and develop my skills to a high professional level. It is therefore extremely important for me to be able to embark on my postgraduate performance studies at Trinity Laban. Thanks in advance for your help!