"I was already interested in music, having learnt recorder and singing at primary school, and had started violin lessons aged 7, taught by Mr Leech (peripatetic). I was very keen to learn more and was already writing musical ideas down. No one in my family was musical, so there wasn't anyone to help me develop skills or to educate me in classical music, until I started going to the music school.
"I thrived on music and the social environment created for the students at the music school. I loved residential courses at Grendon Hall. I made great friends within the County Junior & Youth Orchestras and David Leech's chamber orchestra. I experienced performing at the Royal Albert Hall at the age of 13 and touring abroad with the orchestra (Italy in 1988, Czech Republic in 1989, the Canadian exchange in 1990). I was nurtured and challenged and encouraged in a way that was not possible at my comprehensive school , although I took part in a lot of music and drama there too.
"I went on to study music and German at Kings College & the Royal Academy. I now have a very successful international career as a composer and performer, in both the classical and commercial music industry. I tour worldwide as a violinist and have written for several major orchestras (BBC Phil, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, RTE Orchestra, Metropol Orchestra, Babelsberg Film Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra). NONE of this would have been possible without the tuition and encouragement I received at the Music School. Furthermore, I am friends for life with several people I met in County Youth Orchestra. It was such a special bonding experience, I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without it.
"I found my vocation, I found my people!"
Fiona on stage with Placebo