Singer in bid to hit right note

Isolde Roxby, who is asking for funding support to help her pay her course fees at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Isolde Roxby, who is asking for funding support to help her pay her course fees at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

A MORPETH singer is hoping to strike a chord with town residents as she battles to keep her opera dream alive.

Isolde Roxby has been offered a place at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama to do a postgraduate course in vocal performance.

It would enable the 22-year-old, who was very active as a performer while she was studying at King Edward VI School, to work on her talented vocal skills and help set her up for a career in singing classical compositions on stage.

But despite securing a job after graduating from university, she still needs support to pay the significant course fees at the London institution.

She is asking organisations and individuals to give whatever they can afford in addition to her own fund-raising activities, which include putting on her own concerts, so she can avoid the nightmare scenario of having to drop out.

Miss Roxby said: “Going on this course, which starts in September, is essential if I want to become an opera singer, however it is expensive and I’m growing concerned that I may not be able to cover the costs.

“I will be working as many shifts as I can during the course but aside from my own income, I’m not able to receive support from my family as my father is in full-time study and my mother is the sole provider of a family of four on a teacher’s salary.

“I’m at a slight disadvantage as I wasn’t told that I had the place until the end of February, by which time I had missed many of the grant making organisation’s deadlines. I am also not able to apply for a career loan as the year I will start on is essentially an access course.

“I have made a couple of funding breakthroughs and this gives me hope that I can raise the money. I would be very grateful if Morpeth residents or groups can support me, even a small donation would be very much appreciated.

“Ideally, I would like to be in a position in September where I can feel confident of paying for the course. The fees need to be paid in instalments and it would be horrible if I have to stop halfway through it because I’ve run out of money.”

The King’s College London graduate did a degree in ancient history as something to fall back on if she does not become a professional singer, but she reckons that she spent about 80 per cent of the three years there doing music-related activities.

This included main roles in shows put on by the university’s Opera and Gilbert and Sullivan Societies and depping – where musicians perform as a short-notice replacement – across the capital.

She started singing in productions when she was 11 and had a taste of the opera world at the age of 14 when she appeared in the The Little Prince at Covent Garden as part of the chorus, which was shown on BBC Two.

When at KEVI, Miss Roxby sang with the main school choir and chamber choir, conducted her own madrigal group and was involved in a number of school productions, as well as enjoying courses with the National Youth Choir and National Youth Theatre.

She was a member of the Morpeth Operatic and Pantomime Societies and was involved with the Wansbeck Festival and Outreach Recital Programme, through which she sang a number of recitals for local concerts and charity events including an Emily Wilding Davison Memorial event.

Her current income comes from her job as a customer service adviser at the University of East London.

To support Miss Roxby, go to