UWE presents prizes to award-winning performers

Issue date: 13 June 2011

UWE 2011 CPA prize-winners

Students from the University of the West of England have been awarded prizes for excellence and commitment to the Performing Arts at a special award ceremony at the Royal West of England Academy.

The students have been involved in a wide variety of activities as part of the UWE Centre for Performing Arts' programme, including the orchestra, brass consort, clarinet, woodwind and saxophone groups, drama, vocal studies, big band, music theatre and backstage crew. The students have taken part in these activities while pursuing their studies in a range of subjects including Audio and Music Technology, Drama, Politics, Education and Creative Music Technology.

The prizewinners are: Joshua Cook - CPA Technical Prize; Rebecca Walsh – Students' Union Drama Prize; Adam Collier – Cremona House String Prize; Katy Sweetman – The Luke Gale Memorial Prize; James Deeny – Centre for Performing Arts Prize; Nicholas Williams – Student Experience Prize; Andrew Grigg – Vocal Prize; Jack Gray – Alumni and Development Prize for Outstanding Contribution and Alex Hawker – UWE Vice-Chancellor's Prize. Each prizewinner received a certificate and a cheque for £50.

Alex Hawker, recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's Prize, and a Creative Music Technology student, commented, “I've had some great experiences through the UWE Centre for Performing Arts, during my three years here. These include playing trumpet and singing in the Big Band and Scholars Jazz group, playing keyboard for the fantastic annual musical, singing with Barbershop quartet 'Four in the Bar', and even the opportunity and support to set up a new choir 'Sound of Soul'. I feel I've really developed my musicianship through participating with the CPA, and it has allowed me to carry on playing regularly whilst completing my degree.”

An evening celebrating the performing arts wouldn't be complete without focusing on the achievements and talents of the prizewinners as well as recapping the UWE Centre for Performing Arts' extensive programme of events that have taken place over the past year, particularly its continued commitment to community engagement and partnerships.

The event was attended by UWE Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steven West, distinguished guests from arts organisations and local business and the families and friends of the prizewinners. Musical entertainment was provided by the student-run Sound of Soul Choir founded only this year by prizewinner Alex Hawker, the Saxophone Ensemble, directed by Valerie Hodges and the scholars' jazz quartet Essenjay.

The guest speaker was Jonathan Bradley, formerly Dean of UWE Students who gave an entertaining speech appropriately entitled 'Fiddlers, Crooners and Exhibitionists'.

Ian Holmes, Director of the Centre for Performing Arts, said, "We are delighted to be able to celebrate the enormous talents of our UWE students and also the diversity of activities available to both students, staff, alumni and community members. We very much look forward to the 2011/12 academic year with particular focus on our production Titanic the Musical, Holst the Planets and David Fanshawe's African Sanctus – all of which will take place in March 2012."

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