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Alumni Achievements

If you have an alumni story to share make sure to fill out our form here:


Melissa Doody

SMA Student 2012-2019

My 7 years at SMA have been the most incredible years of my life. Studying violin/viola and vocals there, the lessons I had have helped to shape me as a musician in many ways. To have purely individual lessons is one thing, but to be able to study musicianship, theory and aural amongst other classes has pushed me to develop my versatility in music which has inspired the way I perform. I loved having performance platform-style classes, as it not only helps me to receive feedback from my peers but also to give feedback to others. Furthermore, the countless amounts of concerts I have had the pleasure to perform in both as a soloist and as a part of various ensembles has helped immensely with confidence!

My favourite thing about being a part of SMA has to be performing with others. It has fuelled my passion for ensemble playing that I never would have had without the help of all the teachers and students there!


From September, I will be going into my second year as a violist at the Royal Academy of Music, where I study with Jon Thorne. 


Sarah Razlin

SMA Student 2009-2019

I was a member of Sheffield Music Academy for about 10 years - that’s a lot of Saturdays!

The classes offered in theory, aural and musicianship were excellent, and particularly useful supporting studies for me as I did not take A level music.

In addition to pursuing my own studies, every Saturday I very much enjoyed assisting with the junior string orchestra; always great fun.

I would say that the chamber music opportunities are a particular strength of the Academy. Participation in various ensembles, ranging from duos and quartets to medium size ensembles and the chamber orchestra, probably had the greatest influence on my playing and overall approach to music and performance.

One of the most enjoyable and memorable performances for me was Copland’s Appalachian Spring, a collaboration involving senior students and tutors.  Another special memory is my graduation recital where I performed Handel-Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for violin and viola with my teacher Martin Cropper. 

I have just completed first year at RNCM, where I study violin with Catherine Yates.

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Lindsey James

SMA Student Sept 2008-June 2012

Cellist and Singer Lindsey James has achieved a 1st class honours degree in Music from Kings College London. Lindsey James has been given a place as part of Genesis Sixteen – a very prestigious training programme run by The Sixteen.

‘After 35 years of worldwide performance and recording, The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. Comprising both choir and period-instrument orchestra, The Sixteen [enjoys a] special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance and for bringing fresh insights into Baroque, early Classical music and a diversity of 20th and 21st-century music…’


This quote is taken from the website of The Sixteen, if you would like to learn more about them please visit their website at

Lindsey’s plans for the immediate future are; to apply for a PGCE course in London or Rotherham, to take on some private singing pupils and continue her choral work. 


Her first course as a member of Genesis Sixteen will take place this August.

Lindsey James
King’s College London Milan Tour

Emily Baycroft

SMA Student Sept 2009-June 2014

Talented singer Emily Baycroft was awarded a choral scholarship for the choir of Selwyn College Cambridge.

Since taking up her place there last year she has recorded a CD of alternative arrangements of Christmas music with the choir (due to be released soon).

Emily has sung evensong in cathedrals including St Paul’s, Ely and Norwich. She has also performed in concerts, including the premier of works by up and coming composers, in a large number of prestigious venues including King’s College Chapel (Cambridge), London, and Kent, and been on tour to the Pacific Northwest, singing in Seattle, Sequim, Victoria and Vancouver.