CLODAGH LONg - THE rOYAL WELSH COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DRAMA
"I am originally from Dublin, Ireland and I have loved musical theatre since I was a child. I began training with The Helen Jordan Performing Arts School until I was seventeen before going on to do a one year course at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in musical theatre. It was there that I played Dianne in our in-house production of "A Chorus Line". I have been lucky enough to have performed professionally in some of Ireland's best known theatres as well as overseas.
I went on to complete my BA in Communication Studies in Dublin City University. Although I enjoyed my course, my true passion was acting and musical theatre and always would be. I had wanted to train in the UK since I was a teenager.
I had previously heard of the excellent standard at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) and when I auditioned for the MA Musical Theatre course I had everything crossed that I would be offered a place! I can't express how ecstatic I was when I received The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship. From the moment I had my first audition for the course right down to the final audition for the Scholarship wtih David Grindrod I knew RWCMD was the place for me and I was aching to go.
I worked on a variety of projects throughout my training from Shakespeare to musical theatre to music hall. All of these projects were grounded in working with generosity and truth, creating a great base to start building a character from.
Throughout the year I got to work on both my strengths and weaknesses in a supportive, encouraging environment. I learnt to make mistakes and accept that that is ok! "Cancel and continue!".
What makes their training so special for me is their ability to nurture individually, giving you confidence in who you are as a person. This coupled with the strong work ethic they provide prepared me for this challenging, competitive industry.
I got the opportunity to meet very important and influential people working in the industry today which I am so grateful for.
During the year we were invited to sing at Victor Spinetti's memorial. It was an honour that we were asked to perform in front of such high profiile friends of his, such as Sir Paul McCartney, Elaine Paige, Barbara Streisand to name but a few. I felt very lucky to be a part of this celebration of his life.
The highlight of this incredible year was singing for Andrew Lloyd Webber in February 2013 when he accepted his honorary fellowship award at our college. It was such a privilege. I felt extremely humbled and delighted to be able to thank him personally for the opportunity to train at RWCMD.
I'll never forget the moment I heard I had been offered The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarhsip and I cannot express my gratitude enough. It has truly been a life changing year where I have made wonderful friends and worked with wonderful teachers.
I am delighted to say I will be making my professional debut as Sharon Rabitte/Cover Imelda in "The Commitments", directed by Jamie Lloyed opening at The Palace Theatre. www.thecommitmentslondon.com"
HAYLEY BARRIE - THE URDANG ACADEMY
"My love of dancing began at the age of 5 when I started Ballet and Tap. At the age of 16 I decided to study music and drama at GCSE level at my secondary school. This opened a new door for me and I found my passion for singing and acting. I furthered my studies at A level and was given the opportunity to play Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Mimi in Rent and Christine Dae in The Phantom of the Opera. My school was the first English school to do an amateur production of this and it was a huge success.
After leaving school with my A levels, I couldn't imagine myself doing anything other than musical theatre, so I auditioned at the renowned colleges in London and was lucky enough to be offered a place at The Urdang Academy. I was delighted when I was awarded the place but was not lucky enough to get funding at that stage in the audition process. I knew that going there would put my parents and grandparents under a lot of pressure to finance the course fees and that they could only afford to send me for up to one year.
Miraculously, after just a few weeks into my first year at Urdang, I was asked to audition for The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship in front of David Grindrod and I remember feeling very nervous about the audition but knew it would be my only chance to complete the 3 year course leading to the National Diploma in Professional Dance / Musical Theatre. I was over the moon when I was awarded the scholarship because it meant that I could continue my training at The Urdang Academy for 3 years.
I have absolutely loved my first year at Urdang and would not change anything about it. I am so lucky to be training there as the teaching and professionalism is outstanding and I have been selected to follow Track C from Year 2 in order to further develop my acting and singing.
I can't thank The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and David Grindrod enough for awarding me the scholarship because, without it, I would not be able to pursue my dream of a career in Musical Theatre.
tojan thomas-browne - london studio centre
"I started dancing when I was 13 years old after performing in a production of The Wizard of Oz at a local theatre where I lived. From then I have always had the passion to perform and strived to take the next step of practical training, with the ambition of moving onto a university-styled performing arts college. Luckily I pursued this ambition and I am currently in the first term of my first year studing a BA (Hons) in Theatre Dance at London Studio Centre situated in North Finchley at the artsdepot. I am loving every minute of the training at this college and feel that I have got used to the life at London Studio Centre and toLondon itself. The teachers are amazing, my peers are friendly and it's nice to be in an atmosphere where everyone has the passion to perform and strive to be the best they can be as a triple threat performer.
The audition process was a daunting thing for me but when I got the opportunity of being chosen to do an extra audition for The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship I was more than thrilled to be whittled down to the final few of the auditioning process. Then, when I found out that I was the person being awarded the scholarship, I was more than ecstatic that, with hard work and determination, I could succeed in things I never thought I would be able to. Without the help of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship I would not have been able to afford to train at such a well-established dance college. It helped with a large part of the tuition fees, which enabled me to accept my place at the college, and I do not regret doing so."
CHRISTIAN HOWARD - Central school of speech & drama
Christian Howard is currently in his second year at Central School of Speech and Drama, studying a 3 year BA (Hons) Acting - Musical Theatre course, funded by an Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship.
The BA (Hons) Acting Musical Theatre pathway at Central offers intensive training in the core musical theatre disciplines of acting, singing and dancing, with the emphasis firmly on acting. Students graduate with the skills to work in classical and contemporary theatre, musicals, film, TV and radio.
The pathway enjoys outstanding links with many aspects of the performing arts industry and this is reflected in the wide range and high percentage of graduate employment.
Students take classes and workshops in acting fundamentals, spoken/sung voice (including 1:1 weekly singing lessons), acting through song, actor movement, ballet, jazz, contemporary dance, text analysis (classical and modern), musical theatre repertoire, ensemble singing/aural training.
Students continue advanced practical training in all disciplines. Performance projects include Greek theatre, contemporary American theatre, contemporary British scene study, Restoration comedy, Shakespeare tragedy and Sondheim musical. Students also perform in the public production book musical alongside final year students.
Students focus on professional development, public performances, West End industry showcase, acting for camera, radio training/microphone technique and audition technique workshops. Students perform in a wide range of theatre repertoire including plays, book musicals, pantomime and a newly-commissioned musical revue with a contemporary musical back catalogue (examples include Keeping The Faith - Northern Soul Music, and Love Struck NW1 - 80s music).
"The time I've spent at Central so far has been truly life changing for me. I learn new things every day - things that train me in all aspects of musical theatre and give me a fantastic advantage in the industry. Here at Central, I love that I am given the freedom to explore the craft without fear of failing! I cannot express my gratitude to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation enough for giving me the best possible gift with the opportunity to study what I love most". - Christian Howard