Talented young musician achieves DOE award and looks to crowdfund place at world-leading music school in New York


Chloe Dickens, a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff has been named as one of a select few young people to be presented with a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The award was presented to Chloe at an event hosted by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, at Buckingham Palace last week to recognise her endeavours in overcoming challenges and her commitment to developing new skills.  

Chloe, 21, worked through a range of activities over 18 months including teaching violin to a somerset junior orchestra, self-funding a trip to Sierra Leone to teach violin and piano to students at the Ballanta Academy of Music, captained the school hockey team and achieved her Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Day Skipper qualification on Leader, the Brixham Heritage Cutter.  

Chloe has been offered the opportunity to study for a Master of Music in Violin at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York, in the United States – one of the world’s most prestigious music schools, where she will study under acclaimed violinist, Daniel Philips. Alumni of the college include Carole King, Paul Simon and conductor JoAnn Falletta.

Unfortunately, the UK does not allow her to use her student loan to study a Master’s overseas. In addition to the tuition fees of $31,000 (c.£24,000) there are further costs of approximately $29,000 (c.£22,000) to cover accommodation, meals, US healthcare ($3,000), travel and books. 

So far, she has managed to raise £31,000 through family and writing more than 100 letters to charities and foundations to obtain funding – but she still has around £15,000 to raise so that she can take up her place at the college.

By studying with such a renowned college and teacher, she hopes to join one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras and their outreach teams to inspire the next generation of musicians.

Chloe has set up a crowdfunding page through which she hopes to raise at least another £5,000: https://www.gofundme.com/f/chloes-masters-fund?qid=29fa47fe8d73c5c07d4260c3a311413f

Chloe said, “I loved taking part in DofE. It inspired me to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself. Volunteering as a music teacher, including my time in Sierra Leone, showed me the transformative power of music. I would be very grateful to any donation to my fund, large or small, so that I can pass my knowledge on to other young musicians.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme was set up in 1956 to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements.