Realising Dreams

So, where does your kindly donated money go? This is where you can find out about the young people in and around Warrington we are helping out as they pursue a career in the performing arts…

Joe Hill

Joe is in his 2nd year at Priestley College studying BTEC Music Diploma and A-Level Music Technology. He is a hugely talented guitar player and has recently been accepted onto a place at BIMM Manchester studying for a BA (Hons) in Music Production.

A big part of Joe’s performance and production style is reliant on guitar effects pedals, as you can see in this impressive video (check out the last 5 minutes). And here he is performing a Talking Heads tribute at Manchester’s Deaf Institute.

Unfortunately, in May 2017, Joe had his pedal board stolen whilst loading a van with equipment after a gig at the Portobello Live festival in London. He told us that “not having access to my effects pedals has led to cancellation of some gigs and has limited my ability to rehearse, perform, write and produce my own music”.

Here is a statement from Michael Grainger, Joe’s music teacher at Priestley College:

“Joe is a talented student who works extremely hard to perfect his craft as a songwriter, guitarist and musician. He is a prolific writer and performer demonstrating a great potential to acheive success in the music industry across a wide range of genres. Joe has already acheived an impressive degree of success at a young age and has proved himself to have a professional attitude towards his musical development as is evidenced by his gigging and performing throughout the UK. The loss of Joe’s guitar effects has set him back considerably and has limited the rate of his development and rate at which he has been able to create new music. Support from the River Reeves Foundation would certainly help Joe to get back on track and to continue performing at the highest possible standard”.

After Joe came to us with his story we knew we had to help and so were delighted to contribute towards his purchasing of a new set of effects pedals. Joe is now back to performing and producing some fantastic music and is definitely one to look out for in the very near future!

Cerys Pennington

Cerys studied Performing Arts at Priestley College for 2 years before being accepted onto a place to study Musical Theatre at Performance Preparation Academy (PPA) in Guildford. The River Reeves Foundation is delighted to say that we will be helping Cerys fund her course / living costs whilst she pursues her dream of being a professional dancer, singer and actor.

This is what Cerys had to say about her application to the fund:

“It has been a dream of mine to move down south and study performing arts for so many years. I have been dancing since the age of 5, acting from the age of 10 and singing from the age of 11 and after studying performing arts for two years at Priestley and being given the chance to play the lead role of Charity in my second year show of Sweet Charity there was no doubt that I wanted to study an intense triple threat course. This course is perfect for me and would help me realise my full potential as a performer and help me achieve my dream to study musical theatre.”

Congratulations Cerys, we look foward to hearing and seeing a lot more of you in the future!

Amy-Louise Alice Nicholas

Amy-Louise has a lifelong ambition of performing in the West End. This has been excelled by her time at Priestley College during which she has progressed to an accomplished standard, leading her to being offered several places at performing arts schools around the country. One of these offers, that she has accepted, is to study Theatre Dance (specialising in Musical Theatre) at London Studio Centre.

The River Reeves Foundation is thrilled to be supporting Amy-Louise in her ventures at LSC and we wish her the best of luck in her performing arts endevours!

Ryan Sampson

Ryan has always had a passion for acting but says he often felt too shy. He recently successfully auditioned for a place in a production of Fame The Musical put on by a local college. He was subsequently offered a place to study a Level 3 BTEC Musical Theatre course at the same college. By the end of the course, Ryan hopes to have gained a Foundation Diploma in Musical Theatre. He would like to follow this up by studying Performing Arts at university. Alongside his studies, Ryan will also be developing his performing arts skills at a Post-16 centre.

It is this kind of raw, unnurtured talent that the River Reeves Foundation is very keen to champion and we are therefore very proud to say we will be helping Ryan with the day-to-day costs of completing his course. We think Ryan has a vast amount to offer in the world of performing arts and wish him all the very best in doing so.

Erin Alexander

Erin is the first opera singer to be supported by the RRF, hopefully the first of many! She is currently studying for a Masters degree in Vocal Studies (Classical Soprano) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and hopes to embark upon a career in opera after she graduates. Studying at such a prestigious college comes with some quite substantial costs but it is our pleasure to say we will be helping Erin in some way as she builds up an impressive repertoire. Especially as she was recently a student at Priestley College!

Erin was recently awarded the Cooper Hall Young Artists Bursary and has been approached to put together her own operatic recital which she is basing on the life of world-renowned soprano Graziella Sciutti. She previously collaborated with Cooper Hall on an event based on La Boheme hosted by the editor of Opera Now Magazine; Erin sang the role of Mimi. She has also performed operatic scenes directed by the Assistant Director at Royal Opera House, Greg Eldridge, who described Erin as “a real spark on stage”.

Since starting her Masters degree, Erin has been awarded a BBC National Chorus of Wales Performance Scholarship, and has performed with them in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, London and on BBC Radio 3! She will soon be touring Germany as a soloist with a small choir from Cardiff, and then performing in Wales’ national theatre: St David’s Hall.

With such an impressive back-catalogue already to her name we had no choice but to pledge our support to Erin. We are without doubt that she will continue to shine in theatres around the country and beyond!