Deaf violinist Holly, from Thaxted, wins national music competition

Holly Parker

Holly Parker - Credit: Archant

A teenage violinist from Thaxted who is profoundly deaf has won a national competition run by the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Holly Parker, 14, a pupil at Saffron Walden County High, is among 24 young deaf people who have been chosen to showcase exceptional talent in music. She has now been invited to attend a mentoring weekend in June, part of the Raising the Bar project run by the National Deaf Children’s Society. The winners will work towards a live showcase at the MAC Birmingham.

The competiton was launched at the beginning of the year by deaf actress Sophie stone who appeared in Doctor Who, Sophie said: “I am so impressed by the high standard of entries for the competition. Deaf children are just as capable as everyone else. We just need to make sure they get the right support.”

Holly said: “I’ve always loved music since I was small. My mum used to play CDs of her favourite singers in the car, and my dad used to play me different types of music to see which I liked best. I love listening to music because it fills the silence with sound and rhythm.

“I entered the competition last year too, and was a runner up, so it is really great to win this time. The piece I played in my entry video was one for my Grade 3 exam - I passed with merit and was thrilled.”

Holly has been playing the violin for five years and sings in her school choir. She said: “My ambition is to pass my Grade 5 so I can join my school orchestra and go on music tours with them, I’m still working on Grade 4 at the moment. I am also taking GCSE Music.

“I can’t really explain how music sounds to me because I have only heard music as a deaf person. I know I hear it differently to other people and some sounds I don’t hear very well, but I love it. I am thrilled to win a national music competition.”

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Bryony Parkes, inclusive activities implementation manager for the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “We had an amazing response from some extremely talented deaf young actors, dancers and musicians.

“We hope these competition winners will go on to great things and show what they are capable of.”