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LU Arts’ Music and Arts Scholarship 2022/23 cohort announced

Nine students have been awarded Arts scholarships by the Vice-Chancellor in recognition of their remarkable talents and dedication in their chosen art forms, which include, creative writing, dance and music.

In addition to a cash prize, each scholar receives a tailored package of support to help them develop their talent during the year. For some this will be one-to-one tuition or mentoring, for others it will involve covering the cost of music exam fees and short courses or attending special events. Each scholar’s work will be showcased during the year with a special lunchtime showcase event in the summer term.

This year’s winners are from a variety of academic backgrounds and include undergraduate and postgraduate students from the East Midlands and London campuses.

2022/23 scholarship winners:

Ellie Budds – Music (singing)

Bethany Dark – Music (piano/singing)

Theo Dormer – Music (traditional English music/accordion)

Jess Moody – Creative Writing

Farai Nigel Nyandowe – Music (rap)

Debosmita Paul-Choudhury – Performing Arts (dance – kathak)

Hans-Heinrich Schumann – Music (conducting)

Tara Smith – Performance Arts (dance)

Elizabeth Watts – Performing Arts (drama)

Originally from the West Midlands, Jess Moody is a writer now based in London, having recently joined the School of Social Sciences and Humanities as a Doctoral Researcher. While always a keen reader, Jess only really ‘picked up the pen’ herself in her late thirties, focussing on the short story. Her work often centres on issues of (dis)connection, climate anxiety, gender/sexuality, and identity. She’s been published widely in literary journals, as well as placed highly in a number of writing competitions.  

Jess has never had any training or mentoring for her writing, and so is looking forward to using the scholarship as a way to develop her craft, establish new networks, and support the development of new work. She also hopes to encourage other students who are mature, carers, working, or otherwise balancing ‘messy lives’ to make space for their craft, stay attentive to art, and explore new creative pathways.   

She comments on the experience: “Scholarships like this are such an important way of recognising and celebrating the arts in all their forms. I wanted to apply partly for that external validation for a mostly solitary practice; partly for the generous support and practical resources on offer; but also out of interest in joining the artistic community of the uni. There’s a lot of talent here, probably mostly hiding in plain sight!”

Ellie Budds, who is currently in her second year at university studying Media and Communication, has been passionate about singing for as long as she can remember, expressing that music provides her a sense of escape.

“I was always so desperate to get to a music room to try and learn a new song. My passion for singing has since inspired me to start writing my own songs; there is something so wonderful about being able to be so vulnerable. During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, I used song writing and music in general as a form of coping with many of the intrusive thoughts I felt; the songs that I wrote were almost parts of me that I laid out to look back at – like a diary entry.”

Since joining Loughborough University, Ellie started using the free practice rooms as often as she could. After performing on Good Morning Loughborough, she was asked to be a part of a music video with one of her original songs which was entered and won a silver NaSTA award. After this music video was created, the song was uploaded on Spotify, and she has since recorded more original songs with the help of JORG Productions. This year she hopes to write and record much more and get involved in open mic nights and build her media profile.

Debosmita Paul-Choudhury started learning kathak at the young age of 6. Having had the opportunity to learn from revered Kathak exponents of both Jaipur and Lucknow Gharana, all of whom impacted on her growth as a dancer and a spiritual being, she performed with her Kathak dance troupe at multiple conventions, festivals, and promotional videos. During her school years she performed solo at all major inter-school competitions. This eventually led to her receiving the Co-Scholastic Award and Gold Medal at high school and a cash reward from the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (India) for her performance.  Debosmita is currently studying for an MSc in Design Innovation Management at the London campus.

“Kathak has always set me apart from other dancers because of the need for grace and control that is imbued through it. But my journey with Kathak was not always pleasant, it was tumultuous, as often is with classical forms of dance. Though Kathak is popular for its chakkars and complex footwork – the nritta -I am more drawn to natya which is at the heart of Kathak, the art of storytelling (katha). Through the arts scholarship and support, I look forward to taking classes from Kathak gurus to further enhance my dance skills so I can become an accomplished performer and take the traditions and values associated with this art form to a wider audience.”

The Arts scholarships are managed by LU Arts, the University’s extracurricular arts programme. They recognise and reward talent, potential, passion and commitment in any art form. They encourage involvement in the arts outside of a student’s studies and are not related to an individual’s degree or postgraduate studies.

Find out more about this year’s winners.

If anyone at the University has an event that you would be interested in a scholar performing at then please contact LU Arts (luarts@lboro.ac.uk).



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