"I started my degree at the University of Winchester in September 2010. Naturally, I was excited but I was also very nervous. It was the first time I had lived away from home and university felt like a whole new world! One of the things I left behind was my local music service of which I had been a member for several years. I am a keen clarinettist and also have also played both the Guitar and the Piano. I was keen to continue playing while at university and I joined the Inertia Orchestra as soon as I arrived. I was immediately made to feel welcome and I settled in very quickly. This is something that really helped me settle during my first few weeks at university.
"Over three years I have taken part in many FM events and made many friends. A particular highlight was being a founder member of the University's first Clarinet Ensemble which has gone on to become a great success. I believe that FM's greatest strength is its community spirit and its ethos. This is something that I believe is truly unique. Anybody can join and there is an emphasis on the enjoyment of making music.
"I have recently completed my degree, but I have loved every moment of my time with Foundation Music and I leave with many fond memories."
"What I did: I joined FM when I began my first year of university at Winchester. I joined KASBAH and remained a committed member with them until I finished my three year degree. I then joined the Clarinet ensemble in my second year and Dixie in my third year.
"What it meant to me: From the first rehearsal I felt welcome, and that was such an important feeling that never dwindled throughout my time with FM. It was a life outside of studying for my Law degree, and it provided me with the chance to continue with my love of playing the clarinet.
"What I got out of it: Through hard work and commitment, the ensembles I was a member of played some really great pieces to really great standards. It was wonderful to have so many opportunities to play in various concerts and events, all of which I think helped to increase my self-confidence as a musician. I feel very proud to have been part of some truly lovely groups of musicians. I also made some dear friends who I hope to keep in touch with for years to come.
"Highlight of my time with FM: There are so many moments to pick! I loved playing in the Summer Showcase with the Clarinet ensemble where we surprised the audience with an unscheduled performance of the Mario theme tune. I think we all loved playing that, the sense of togetherness was so lovely, and the entertainment and pleasure it brought to the audience was just wonderful."
"Foundation Music is a fantastically varied society which is always welcoming. During my time at Winchester I had loads of fun playing in the Steel Pans Ensemble and singing with S.O.N.G, the gospel choir. It was such a relief to be able to escape the stresses of studying for a few hours and just enjoy letting it all out through music. It was also brilliant to have the opportunity to engage my passion for music while studying other subjects - something I worried I would struggle to do at university.
"One of the highlights for me was performing with the London Community Gospel Choir, a friendly and exceptionally talented choir who were generous enough to give us a little vocal workshop too. Singing at various weddings (including Hannah Curtain's herself!) have been very rewarding experiences, not to mention performing to friends and family in the biannual FM Showcases.
"I highly recommend FM, no matter what your musical background!"