We are delighted to announce that the winners of the inaugural 2019 AHA Music Scholarship are Rachel Oyawale and Maanya Patel who will both be joining our Late Summer Course for 5 days in Florence and enjoying 3 evenings at the amazing New Generation Festival in the gardens of the Palazzo Corsini.

Huge thanks go to all the other applicants and to the judges, Marie Naffah, a recorded singer-songwriter and one of our excellent tutors, and Maximilian Fane, conductor, producer and co-founder of the New Generation Festival.  They were so impressed by the standard of the entries and the breadth of achievement and wished they could award more than 2 prizes.  Nick Ross, our Director, said “The standard of entries was higher than we could ever have dreamed of and it has been a truly uplifting experience for all of us”.  He sums up AHA’s attitude to scholarships and competitions in this video in which he encourages young people to list the competitions they enter on their CVs, whether they win or not!

Rachel was Head Girl at Woldingham School and at 18 is the youngest chorister to be employed by English National Opera, on her gap year!  Having been a participant in the ENO Baylis Youth Programme in 2016 and the ENO Youth Company, she auditioned for the Porgy chorus and won a place.  She has a place to study at Gonville and Caius college, Cambridge this October.

Maanya is still a student in the Lower Sixth at Ibstock Place School and based on her winning entry, clearly has a dazzling future ahead of her. She says:

“I started playing music when I was aged four – though not very seriously! I was inspired to start when my dad was given a violin when he was younger though never played it (none of my family are musicians). I saw this violin and was keen to play. I took lessons, joined my first orchestra at the age of seven. I have been lucky to travel around Europe with these orchestras – Belgium…Budapest…Prague… though never Italy which is why this course sounds perfect!
I love Neoclassical stuff – as it merges the old with the new. I am currently writing a piece on how much Renaissance opera influences modern opera today.“