Emily Higgs | TrinityTalent 2019

Emily is celebrated by Trinity for Progress in Classical and Jazz.

Emily Higgs | TrinityTalent 2019

Emily was nominated by her teacher for her progress made with the euphonium and voice in Classical and Jazz. They said 'Emily has recently been instrumental in helping to raise a large sum of money for the charity 'Brass for Africa'; she was a member of 8 different groups and choirs taking part in our concert, and rehearsed cheerfully and tirelessly with both fellow-pupils and invited professionals, switching seamlessly between classical and jazz styles with great enjoyment. She is an excellent ambassador for music in our school and in the wider environment.'

In what ways would you say your Classical and Jazz qualification has influenced your artistic achievement, creativity, leadership or progress? 

I started playing the tenor horn in Year 7. I took grade 5 in Year 8, then grade 6 on the euphonium in Year 9, and now, in Year 10, I am about to take grade 7 on the tuba. Taking Trinity music exams has given me a focus and a framework for my learning. There is always a really good range of pieces to choose from so that I can always find a group of pieces that I enjoy and that challenge me to play at my best. 

How has participating in a Classical and Jazz qualification impacted your artistic skills or career development?

I play with my school orchestra and Razzmajazz group, in addition to singing with the choir and chamber choir, helping to lead the ukulele group, and playing with the recorder consort. Just over a year ago I auditioned successfully for West Sussex County Youth Wind Orchestra and I now play with them, and the County Youth Orchestra and County Big Band every week. My whole day on Saturday is spent playing with these three groups, and then singing with the County Youth Choir! It’s a long day but it gives me a real buzz. 

I’ve had the opportunity to play and sing with them in Symphony Hall in Birmingham as part of the National Youth Music Festival. This summer, I will be going on tour with the County Youth Orchestra and Wind Orchestra to France for a week. The music at my school is excellent, but this gives me the chance to play with a large group of musicians, all playing at a higher level. If I hadn’t been working towards my grade 6 Trinity exam, I wouldn’t have been able to audition. 

My school, Farlington, is also a Trinity Champion Centre and in October, thanks to a grant from Trinity, we were able to put on a Charity Concert raising funds for ‘Brass for Africa’ - an amazing organisation which sends brass instruments out to disadvantaged children in Africa and gives them weekly lessons. This gives the children an opportunity not only to learn an instrument, but a sense of pride and purpose, and real life skills to improve their futures. Thanks to the Trinity grant I was able to play alongside professional musicians at the concert, which was fantastic, and something I would never have thought I had the confidence to do! 

What's next for you?

I have just taken my grade 7 tuba and got a distinction! And will be taking my grade 7 singing possibly in June. I’m also working on taking my grade 5 theory this year. I study music for GCSE, so doing the higher Trinity exam grades is really helping me boost my performance component. The aural and theory also help with my understanding of my set works. 

What are your career aims? 

I don’t know yet! I may not be a professional musician but music will always be a massive part of my life. Wherever I am, I should be able to find an orchestra and choir to join - this will help me meet new people at university and beyond. There’s something special about making music in a large group, all working towards the best performance possible! 

Have you got any advice for other young people working towards an Classical and Jazz qualification?

Practice, practice, practice! A little every day means steady progress and makes it all worth it in the end. Start your scales early on - don’t leave them to the last minute! 

Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2019


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