24 Dec Share Your Story – Alexa
Hello, my name is Alexa and I come from Hexham, Northumberland. I am currently in my fourth year of undergraduate studies, playing the cello at the Royal College of Music. Since the age of 12, it was my dream to study at the RCM, and so far it’s been an amazing experience. I have had some amazing concert opportunities, playing at concert halls such as the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall, as well as having fantastic teaching from world-class professors, which has been truly inspiring. At the end of my second year, I was awarded a scholarship from the RCM to live at Lee Abbey for one year, as they were aware of my financial hardships. I received another scholarship from Lee Abbey to continue living there for my fourth year. I wasn’t to know then how Lee Abbey was going to change my life.
The people at Lee Abbey were so friendly from day one, and I immediately felt accepted into the house. I made some amazing friends here that I can say will be my friends for life. There is a strong sense of community and it really feels like I live with a family! The RCM is an amazing place to study due to the many opportunities it has given me to develop as a musician and a person; however, it is quite challenging, and at times I found this prestigious institution overwhelming. Living in such a supportive environment as Lee Abbey has helped drastically with my music making. I have built confidence which has not only helped me become an active member of the Lee Abbey community, but has helped me develop my confidence as a performer and improve my cello playing overall. I enjoyed my time so much that I applied to live at Lee Abbey for my fourth year. However, I didn’t have the financial means to afford the accommodation. I applied for a scholarship from Lee Abbey and I was very grateful to receive financial aid to continue living here.
Playing a musical instrument comes with many financial responsibilities such as buying new strings, restoration and care, as well as the loan for my cello from the RCM. These are very expensive and before coming to Lee Abbey I wouldn’t always be able to afford these necessities, which enable me to play at my best. With the Lee Abbey scholarships, I have been able to afford to look after my cello and buy the necessary equipment for my course, as well as going to classical concerts with friends and have a more fulfilling social life.
My favourite thing about Lee Abbey are the events they hold, such as the Jam Sessions (which I love to perform in!), formal dinners, bonfire celebrations etc. They bring everyone together to socialise and have fun during our stressful university lives!