Holly’s current portfolio is outlined below. For more detail, click on each heading.
Holly has an established reputation as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, using the Kora, singing, recorder, percussion and storytelling to delight audiences of all ages and abilities. She was nominated as Best Vocalist at Buxton Fringe Festival in 2016. Recent highlights include
- performances and recordings for BBC Music Day June 2016 (CBeebies Our Song and Zest Fest)
- broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 (Daily Service) in December 2015 and June 2016
- recordings of lute songs for Boost Music (January 2016)
- performances with Delphic for Manchester International Festival (2014)
- tour of New York (2014).
Visit www.koraqueen.wordpress.com for more information.
Holly works as a duo with internationally acclaimed double bass player Michael Cretu, creating an exciting fusion of world, gypsy, folk, jazz and contemporary classical styles. Stringboxes won the Small Ensemble Award at Buxton Festival last year and are in the process of recording their first album. Recent highlights include commissioned performances at the RNCM and Muzeul Taranului Roman, Romania.
Holly has recently been developing her work as a composer through key commissions from Manchester Cathedral Choir, BBC and RNCM. She specialises in contemporary classical works for mixed voices and Kora.
Funded by Arts Council England, this project involved creating and performing a new oratorio through working with different groups of older people with Dementia and their carers. Holly worked in residence with 3 groups in rural, urban and hospital Dementia settings. Ideas generated through workshops with groups were crafted into an accessible, secular oratorio for mixed voices accompanied by Kora (West African Harp) and ensemble. This unique work was performed at Manchester Cathedral on Thursday 6 April 2017 at 7pm. The performance was recorded and excerpts from the oratorio will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 as part of Dementia Awareness Week in 2018 to raise public awareness about the role of music in Dementia care. You can access the live recording of the performance here
Holly pioneered the Music for Health programme at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester 15 years ago, spearheading the development of music for health practise across the UK through participation in a number of large scale European ventures. An experienced music for health practitioner (and Registered Music Therapist), Holly has since undertaken a number of commissioned projects within healthcare settings ranging from work with children with Autism at Grange School and work with adults with Schizophrenia at Cheadle Royal Hospital to projects with premature babies and their families at Royal Stoke Hospital and the Soundspaces programme in the Paediatric Emergency Department at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as part of LIME Music for Health where Holly worked up until August 2017.