A young Blyth woman has won a prestigious scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Ashleigh Charlton, 20, who is currently completing her degree in music at Durham University, hopes to follow a career in opera singing.
She was one of 1,700 singers who auditioned for a place at the Royal Academy.
“When it was offered to me, I was speechless and overcome with emotion, the feeling is indescribable,” she said.
“I was just so relieved and overjoyed that my countless hours of practice leading up to the auditions, but also the years of training that had been leading up to this moment, had all finally come to fruition.”
Ashleigh recently showcased her talent at a private event held by the Duchess of Northumberland.
Immediately following her performance, the Duchess personally offered to provide references for her, while special guests Sir John Hall and Lady Hall became her first sponsors.
Ashleigh’s interest in music developed while she was at school.
She said: “I’ve always been fascinated with music and I was eager to learn as many instruments as I could through school.
“At the age of 13, I was given my first lead role in the school musical.
“From this, singing became my passion and I began receiving lessons, working my way through ABRSM music examinations to Grade Eight standard. In addition to this, I have LAMDA Grade Eight drama at gold level and have achieved dance qualifications through stage school.”
Ashleigh will graduate from Durham University in the summer and then will start her masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music in September.
She is looking for more sponsors. Anyone interested can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org