David Balica joined Ashbourne College in September 2018 on a 100% Music scholarship. He graduated in summer 2020 with an outstanding A*AAA in A-level English Literature, Music, Drama and History and secured a place to study Composition at the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
We had a chance to catch up with David and learnt about his experience of studying A-level Music at Ashbourne.
Why did you choose to study A level Music?
I have been studying music for many years and doing Music A Level was essential for continuing my journey as a pianist and composer. I was fortunate to be offered a music scholarship at Ashbourne College.
What were the most rewarding aspects of the course?
The course helped me develop my musical language and gain confidence in my ability to compose and to write about music. The course opened up a whole new range of musical styles including Jazz, Folk music and Contemporary music, enriching my musical intellect. It was a privilege to learn from experienced professionals.
What were the most challenging aspects of the course?
The most challenging aspect was developing the ability to adapt to different musical styles, and learning about them. However, at the same time, this development was also the most rewarding aspect of my music studies.
What is your university degree course? How have the skills and knowledge you acquired in A-level Music supported your university studies?
I’m on the BMus Composition course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. The required admission portfolio showcased compositions varying in style, which were a reflection of the great teaching at Ashbourne College. I was also very well prepared for the interview and offered a place on the spot thanks to the intense preparation that the Music Department set up for me.
Tell us about any extra-curricular activities as part of your Music studies that you particularly enjoyed.
My favourite extra-curricular activities included being the pianist in the House Band. I met incredible musicians that I hope I’ll be working with in the future. Furthermore, I also loved the concerts involving the Edison Ensemble, taking place at the Warehouse and showcasing our compositions. This was my very first engagement as a composer with professional musicians. Finally, I also enjoyed the concerts at St Mary Abbots Church and the contribution of the House Band to the Creative Arts Event: the musicians were given space to thrive and this was very important.
What was your overall experience of studying Music at Ashbourne?
I had a great time studying Music at Ashbourne. Not only did I learn effective essay technique but I also developed my musical idiom and I became much more open and mature as a musician and as a person. The teaching played a big part in this, as did the resources. I was very happy with my final results and I will never forget the time I spent as a student at Ashbourne.
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