We recently interviewed one of Ashbourne's former students, who stood out for being an extremely talented individual with a passion for music, film, and writing. Charli Eglinton was a music scholarship student, being awarded a 40% scholarship for her outstanding academic performance and talent.
What was your experience of being a scholarship student at Ashbourne?
'My experience of being a Music scholarship student at Ashbourne exceeded all my expectations. My passion and drive for Music was matched and encouraged through the exceptional teaching the college offers. Only now, having left, do I realise just how far I’ve progressed from when I first joined, in terms of technical knowledge and complex musical theory I have now actively been applying to my own work and compositions.'
How did you find out about Ashbourne?
'I discovered Ashbourne the summer before I was due to start sixth form. Having attended my local state school since year 7, my initial plan was to continue on to Sixth form there. However, as the only Music applicant from my school, the course was unfeasible to run. So, in looking for a last minute replacement, I came across Ashbourne and was at once struck by the college’s overall buzzing energy and dedication to strive for success.'
What were your impressions of Ashbourne before your first day as a student?
'Because my application to Ashbourne was so late and unplanned, I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing any of the taster events, so I arrived for my first day, somewhat apprehensive because I knew no one and, having only known state education, was fearful for some of the preconceptions about the snobbery and contentiousness of Private education. Of course, Ashbourne couldn’t be any further from this! Realising, on your first day, that everyone around you is just as driven and has just as aspirational ambitions as you do, and that your teachers will push and push and push to ensure you reach those ambitions…that was a very special moment and one I’ll remember.'
How meaningful was this scholarship to you?
'It's only now that I've left Ashbourne, do I realise how much I've excelled and progressed both in my work and as a person.
Being with others just as driven like myself, pushed me to try even harder and aim even higher than I already was. Thanks to Piers' enthusiasm and outstanding teaching of the Music syllabus, I've fallen in love with Opera, now actively applying the skills and techniques we learned to write and produce my own operas!
Plus, the generosity of Mike and the whole of the College to discount my fee in recognition of my musical ability, has helped boost my self-confidence to a whole new level and will always be a foundation I rely back on, in times of self-doubt.'
Do you have any words of advice for other students who are considering applying for a scholarship at Ashbourne?
'Being a scholarship student appears a daunting prospect and I think there is a general prejudice that being one is isolating. I'd like to reassure anyone considering applying for a scholarship at Ashbourne to go for it. It's been one of the most rewarding and enriching decisions of my life so far which will keep rewarding and enriching my future. I couldn't praise everyone at the College enough.'
During her time here as a student, Charli produced some exquisite work, including a short film. Charli also participated in many of the school's events, including the Dante at the Warehouse concert and the annual Revue. The videos below clearly capture and highlight Charli's talent.