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NEWS > Alumnae News > And the 2021 Winners Are….

And the 2021 Winners Are….

We're delighted to announce that the Emerging Talent Awards 2021 will support an enterprising duo, two musicians and the creation of a new chess club.

The Alumnae Advisory Group met earlier this week to discuss the very strong field of applications, noting that they wanted to give special consideration to enterprise this year and to the arts, which has continued to be particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

Our first winner is Meena Santhosh, Class of 2006, who works in Finance, and plans to set up a Junior Chess Club for under-18s across Surrey.  Chess has been shown to improve children’s concentration, problem-solving, critical thinking and Maths skills. Her application was supported by LEH’s chess teacher of 40 years Michael Basman.

Meena says: “I have a huge passion to get more young people (particularly girls) into careers that are these days incredibly competitive, and right now are very male-dominated. While I am involved in various mentoring and coaching initiatives that aim to accomplish this, I truly believe it starts with encouraging and shaping the mindset and behavioural traits of our juniors, and chess can play a huge part in seeding the foundation of strategic and healthy competitiveness, particularly at a young age. 

“It is these small steps in the right direction that will be crucial in making big impactful changes for the long term. It’s an honour to share this award alongside the other fantastic and meaningful initiatives.”

Our second award is a joint one to Rose Robertson and Claire Haddon-Lowson, both from the Class of 2006, who launched an e-commerce platform to sell quality, accessibly-priced homeware called Late Afternoon (click here to see it: Late Afternoon | Home) earlier this year.  They plan to use the funds to help drive their digital marketing strategy.

They say: “We’re thrilled to receive the Emerging Talent Award in support of our start-up homewares brand. This year has been full of incredible challenges as we launched our business and this support will help us build for the future. Thank you LEH!”

Our third winner is cellist and composer Joy Lisney, Class of 2011, who is just completing her composition studies at Cambridge University. Having seen her usual revenue streams hit hard by a combination of Covid-19 and Brexit, she wants to try her hand at composing for the screen, which has seen a massive increase in demand following the success of steaming services such as Netflix.  Joy will require specialist software to enable her to do this professionally.

Joy says: “Modern film composers are not simply writing music for instrumentalists to perform but synthesising new sounds with the help of a studio and computer software. This award will make a huge difference as I embark on a new chapter of my career in the post-pandemic world! Thank you so much.”

Our fourth and final ETA recipient is Paige Reynolds, Class of 2012, who works as a musician under the name of Paige Bea.  She needs support to help her complete the self-funded album she recorded during lockdown. She plans to put the Award towards the cost of professionals to mix and master the tracks which will help her win vital airtime when it's released next year.

Paige says: "Given that so many of my formative musical experiences were shaped by the teachers at LEH - Mr and Mrs Ashe in particular - it is such a privilege for my work as an artist to be recognised by the Emerging Talent Award. The last two years have been a little bleak for musicians at all points in their careers but particularly for those who, like me, are just starting out. This award is a little ray of hope that will help towards the costs of mixing and mastering my next EP and give me that extra bump of confidence as I start to release my new music in 2022."

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