Viola Beach Scholarship awarded to young pianist


PRIESTLEY College has awarded its first scholarship set up in memory of four former students who made up the band Viola Beach.

Yi Chen Hock has received the first Viola Beach Scholarship, which marks the contribution made to college life by Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe and River Reeves who sadly died earlier this year.

The pianist will receive £500 to put towards furthering her passion for music.

“Yi Chen was chosen in recognition of her outstanding potential and to support her as she strives to make a breakthrough in the music world,” said Principal Matthew Grant.

“She is an extremely talented and hardworking individual who clearly has the ability and commitment to go far.”

Yi Chen is currently working to Grade 8 piano and plays the violin in the Warrington Youth Orchestra.

She attends a Cambridge+ programme each week to help her prepare for studying at an elite university and hopes to go to Cambridge.

The former Bridgewater High School pupil, who studies Electronics, Further Maths, Physics and Music at Priestley, said: “It is an honour to receive the first Viola Beach Scholarship and it will go a long way towards helping me pursue my passion for music.

“I chose Priestley because I wanted to study a wide variety of subjects, but it feels great to be recognised for my music.”

The Viola Beach Scholarship was set up by the Priestley Education Training Trust fund following the deaths of the band members and their manager Craig Tarry in February.

Ben Dunne, River Reeves’ father, said: “Yi Chen is a remarkable musician and a worthy first recipient of this wonderful scholarship.

“I’m sure the musical talent, potential and achievement of Viola Beach will be mirrored by Yi Chen and recipients of this scholarship for years to come.”

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