Millfield musicians heading to top universities

Millfield musicians are heading to prestigious universities to study a plethora of music courses.

Upper Sixth students Hamish Barry, Angelina Bonetti, Maddie Calvesbert-Sharp, Al Hemming, Sam Hughes, Apple Liu, Eloise Parton and Billy Swift have all accepted places to study music post Millfield.

Cellist Hamish Barry, who joined Millfield Prep School in Year 8, has accepted a scholarship at Royal Northern College of Music. He aspires to become a freelance musician, playing across multiple genres. He began playing the cello when he was five and progressed through the grades before earning a music scholarship at Millfield.

He said, “Millfield has expanded my musical interests and experience more than I could ever have imagined. Not only in cello but also singing, playing in bands and percussion. The greatest inspiration to me has been all the musicians in the music department, both staff and students, everyone in the department thrives off of one another.”

Vocallist Angelina Bonetti joined Millfield for Sixth Form to pursue music. She started singing at six years old and joined a performing arts company at nine which introduced her to music and performance. She enjoys studying a variety of genres and hopes to technically develop her voice to experiment with classical and opera singing. She aspires to become a professional singer and hopes to play at Glastonbury.

She said, “The facilities are amazing and all teachers encourage students to unlock as much of their musical potential as possible.”

Multi-instrumentalist Maddie Calvesbert-Sharp joined Millfield Prep School in Year 6 and is heading overseas for the next stage of her musical education. The pianist, flautist and vocalist will study a double major in music and politics at The University of Chicago, as well as making the most of the numerous musical opportunities available. Maddie has been an active part of Millfield’s ensembles, including Camerata, many Chamber ensembles and choir, and hopes to continue singing in choral settings and playing the flute in chamber ensembles.

She said, “My teachers are the people who have inspired me the most, seeing how happy and amazingly talented they are makes me want to continue my music education, they are truly a one-of-a-kind department!”

Guitarist Al Hemming joined Millfield as a boarder in Lower Sixth to start his professional music education. Self-taught Al is a rock guitarist and has found his place within the extensive music department. He is going on to study Music Performance and has received offers to study at British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), Manchester and Bristol, and Berklee College of Music, which is arguably the best music college in the world. Al also writes his own music and hopes to perform in a band who write their own songs.

He said, “As a heavy metal, hard rock and punk guitarist I've managed to find my place in the department, even with different styles like country. You never know what you'll do at Millfield so you have to make the most of your time here.”

Sam Hughes joined Millfield in Lower Sixth to benefit from the music offering. The guitarist, vocalist and songwriter is going on to study music at BIMM, London.

He said, “I am very excited to be a part of the manner in which they are a leading force in contemporary musical education. They smoothly transition a musician from education to the music industry which is something I am excited to be involved in. I want to continue working on song writing and my arrangement skills.”

Apple Liu, from Hong Kong, joined Millfield as a boarder in Year 10. As a keen composer and producer, Apple has chosen to study music production and technology at Columbia College, Chicago. She plays the cello and piano as well as singing and she aspires to compose orchestral music and pop songs.

She said, “I started learning piano when I was about four years old. My family took me to an instrument shop and asked me what I wanted to learn, and I chose piano. I would say to students starting at Millfield: try hard, listen to music and make your own music in your spare time.”

Violinist Eloise Parton joined Millfield in Year 9 as a boarder from St John’s College School, Cambridge where she had experienced working and learning alongside the choristers. Eloise is planning to select contemporary options including songwriting and performance as well as music psychology, journalism and therapy. She has received offers from Birmingham and Liverpool Universities, has an interview for Newcastle to study popular and is waiting to hear back from Edinburgh and Leeds.

She said, “My advice to anyone starting at Millfield would be to take advantage of all the opportunities the school has to offer. Join groups, choirs, bands and ensembles, perform in lunchtime, teatime and evening concerts. Try the recording studios, masterclasses, competitions tours and trips, and experiment with music and drama or dance. It is all here. Enjoy and embrace it all.”

Billy Swift joined Millfield in Year 10. He started playing the piano from a young age and has now pursued the saxophone as his main instrument. Billy has applied to study music at universities across the country and is drawn to the contemporary, modern course offered at Goldsmiths, London. He is influenced by the sounds of the 70s and was introduced to jazz by recent leavers Rowan Wilson and Harvey Morland who have both gone on to study music at the University of Manchester.

He said, “Coming to Millfield is an inspiration because you see students in the older years and you can take inspiration from them through speaking to them in the department and listening to their music.”

Assistant Director of Music (Academic), Kirsty Barry, added, “This year’s cohort of music leavers is a particularly exciting group who we have seen grow as musicians over their years at Millfield. They each have their own particular strengths and passions for music, and what is so enjoyable to see is their support and solidarity towards each other. There is so much enjoyment from being in our warm, musical family here at Millfield, where students feel comfortable to thrive on their own musical pathway. Each of our leavers has taken full advantage of the wealth of opportunities we offer, this is as soloists, in many small and large ensemble performances, as directors, creators and through a wide range of musical styles and events. We wish them the very best of luck in their future courses and look forward to staying in touch!”

Millfield Music has an exceptional record of students going on to study the craft. Recent OM trio Harvey Morland, Rowan Wilson and Cameron Murray all went on to study at the prestigious University of Manchester in 2020. OM Amy Yuan studied at Millfield from 2003-2007 and is a prize-winning violinist/erhuist and Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In January 2020, Millfield named a music scholarship after Amy and she regularly returns to adjudicate events and support the students.

Learn more about music at Millfield here.

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