Carolyn Johnson (née Wu)
The Anne Reid Memorial Scholarship has enabled me to access so many opportunities which have challenged me and enabled me to reach my full potential.
I received the scholarship during the year in which I was studying for my Masters in solo piano performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. The scholarship enabled me to continue further studies after completing my Masters degree. I used the scholarship to support a Postgraduate Diploma in Music Performance at the Guildhall, where I studied piano accompaniment and chamber music. This was a most memorable time in my life where many friendships were formed with my fellow colleagues – comprising of singers and instrumentalists from all over the world. Highlights arising from that year include being invited to perform in the BBC Modern Composers Festival for two years running as well as invitations to participate in the Britten Pears Festival in England, Oxford Lieder Festival and Vienna-Prague-Budapest Chamber Music Festival and Masterclasses. I was also thrilled to perform at the Royal Festival Hall with the UK National Musicians Symphony Orchestra. Following my studies, I was fortunate to be offered piano teaching positions at two prestigious schools in the UK – Wellington College, Berkshire and Whitgift School, Croydon. More recently, I was accepted to become a music examiner for Trinity College London and examined in numerous places in the UK.
Following my move back to New Zealand in 2014 to raise my young family, I have been contributing to the performing arts in Christchurch by being actively involved in accompanying young people in their musical pursuits in events such as competitions, concerts and exams. I also have a busy teaching schedule and in 2018, founded the Canterbury Chamber Ensemble.
I cannot say enough thanks for the support of this scholarship. It has truly grown me in all aspects of life and I would not be the same person without the experiences which I encountered whilst overseas. It has benefited my communication, my goals, my skills and I am passionate about using my experiences to help others achieve their dreams.