Weʼre raising £1,000 to help keep Nicola singing Opera at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
- London, UK
Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you're not a registered charity.
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"Dad... I got in!" I whispered in happy tears down the phone. I had got into Trinity Laban.
13th December 2017.
It was the last of three vocal auditions at the Conservatoires in London. Today's audition was in Greenwich, where my grandparents used to live. Conservatoire: Trinity Laban of Music and Dance. It finally felt like I'd arrived home. So far, I'd had no luck and I was beginning to feel despondent. So this was my last chance to prove myself.
The memory of the audition is blissful. The rehearsal. My lovely accompanist who immediately poached me for training. The adrenaline of doing the improvisation test and hitting my top most register. Singing whilst fruitlessly trying to ignore the excitement and chittering between the judging panel, I knew I'd wowed them. But they insisted I do an extra year, to really train up for the Masters; the "ISP Advanced level." A non government funded course of £12,000. I was on such a high and I wanted it. I accepted.
I was totally chuffed they'd given me the chance to pursue my dream of a career in Opera - I wasn't going to give up now. To get in was all I ever wanted and I'd already worked so hard at the University of Southampton.
The next month, I managed to get myself into full time work at two primary schools as a 1:1 Teaching Assistant and Playworker. 40 hours of rewarding work a week plus teaching any extra singing lessons, doing summer holiday, half term and weekend work in my time off. I physically could not do any more. It was time to do the Maths. Even with all that work there was no way I could afford to do the full course. I would just about scrape through the first term and that's without living there. I was torn between going and struggling financially or staying to save up until I turn 25 to try again comfortably (still without the guarantee of getting in and potentially being too old and inexperienced by that point). So what now, am I supposed to pack it all in?
Neither a bachelors nor masters degree, the ISP course does not qualify for any of the vocal funding competitions recommended by Trinity, nor am I eligible for a career development loan or any of the other postgraduate loans.
I have no financial support, but I don't want to throw away this opportunity.
I would like to propose a crowd funding campaign in order to fund the second term of the ISP Advanced course, which starts in January 2019.
If I am successful in continuing my studies, I will donate my earnings from my first operatic/performance contract I take on after graduating from Trinity Laban to St. Christopher's Hospice in memory of my younger cousin William Norris. He was an inspiration to all and his short, but full life taught me to take the bull by the horns.
Now is the time. Donating towards my tuition means I will be able to make future donations to this charity that I would by no means be able to produce without the further tuition. Studying opera means I will be able to give back to the community in a larger way, whether by performing free for charity events or by donating.
If you are a charity organising a fundraising event in the near future, I would love to come and sing for you free of charge. Everyone who donates toward my tuition will receive a DVD/CD of my vocal performances as a token of thanks.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope I have instilled in you a drive to propel yourselves into whatever it is that you want to do. You only have one life, so be the best version of yourself you can be. Please help a seedling grow and reach her full potential. There's no time like the present.
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Nicola Jane Roberts started crowdfunding