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Hilarie gains scholarship to Berklee College of Music

Hilarie C (U6) has been awarded a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for her talent and dedication to the Violin.


Hilarie talks about her journey with music, her time at Queen Anne's School and where Berklee will take her: 

"I started playing the violin at the age of 6, achieving ABRSM Grade 8 piano and violin with distinction at age 11, and Trinity LTCL violin diploma with distinction at age 13.

The remarkable thing about music is that it constructs an imaginative connection between the performer and the listener. The violin itself is a very expressive instrument, through it I can tap into an emotional state, which allows me to express myself fully through the use of different techniques, ambient sounds and approaches beyond words. Another thing I love about this melodic instrument is its versatility. The violin can be incorporated into a wide range of genres in music from classical to pop as it works equally well as a solo instrument or in an ensemble setting to enhance harmony with other musical instruments.  

The moment I stepped foot in Queen Anne’s campus, I was showered with ample opportunities to perform, ranging from chapel service, lunchtime concerts to Wallingford Festival, where I was trained to perform with diversity, flexibility and under pressure. With endless words of encouragement and affirmation, the music department has helped me build confidence in myself in various aspects such as stage performing and music production capacity. I realised that not everything in life can be perfect; at times, making mistakes on stage is not a setback but a dear experience learned to prepare for further enrichment and eventual success.

Some of my favourite memories of playing at Queen Anne’s include my solo violin, ensemble and quartet performances, important events such as Open Days, lunchtime, music scholars, junior school and Upper 6 concerts, yearly Wallingford Festival, the music tour to Belgium, as well as my piano, violin and vocal recordings for our very first and unique podcast QASounds. I am thrilled to see how QAS music department flourished during my 4-year of study there and how the girls excelled to such a new height with their outstanding ABRSM and Trinity achievements.

Songwriting always helps me to release tensions, as a method of mental recuperation in times of strife or a healing meditation for my mind and soul. I turn my feelings and personal experiences into lyrics and chords. At this moment, I write sentimental songs the most, leaning towards the RnB or pop genre, but I will explore more diverse genres and styles and the tools necessary to excel well at Berklee. 

Berklee has a worldwide reputation for contemporary music education in all genres ranging from jazz, gospel, music theatre, rock, country with renowned professors from around the world. I was intrigued by how the college produced so many award-winning artists, producers, and performers and how they had prepared them to build solid musical foundations for personal aspirations as well as career successes through massive networks with the music industry. I was fascinated with music software such as GarageBand or Logic X Pro in my spare time to record covers or produce originals, and I learned basic composing and recording techniques through YouTube. However, I would love to further develop a wider technical skill in production such as mixing and mastering to create better quality work. I have been learning classical music since I was small, and I love to learn more about jazz which is important to the development of contemporary music.  I am excited to be part of a diverse community and ready to expand my music knowledge at Berklee.  

As a classical and pop music lover, I firmly believe that music is a form of comfort and meditation, effective for relaxation and stress management, and it creates amazing bonds between individuals. I am an avid supporter of modern music with a high interest in singing, producing and songwriting. Going after Berklee, I would love to progress towards a producer or music artist who can compose and share originals to everyone. I understand the path to success will not be easy. However, I am determined and willing to dedicate my passion, time and hard work to excel to my full potential and make the best music work for pleasure and enjoyment to other music lovers."

- Hilarie C.

Director of Music at Queen Anne's School, John Padley, says:

'It has been an amazing privilege being involved with Hilarie’s musical development at Queen Anne’s. Hilarie is a talented musician and performer. Her songwriting is very personal and has real potential. I am sure she will thrive at Berklee and look forward to seeing how her career develops. I think Hilarie is one to look out for in the future!'

We would like to congratulate Hilarie for her true talent and hard work while at Queen Anne's School and wish her every success at Berklee. 

See here for Hilarie C's Violin Recital