Violin and viola player Alexa Thomson travelled and studied at the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado thanks to a grant through the Nikau Foundation.

Alexa was recipient of a grant of more the $6,000 from the Judith Clark Memorial Fund which was established in August 2014, to support the education of both young musicians and music teachers.

The Aspen Music Festival is one of the most prestigious summer festivals in the world.

The programme includes outstanding guest soloists, chamber groups, conductors, and artist-faculty who teach and perform over the eight weeks with 650 students from all over the world attending.

I am very grateful to the Judith Clark Memorial Fellowship for making my Aspen Festival experience possible. I believe that more young New Zealanders should have the chance to benefit from such large-scale international festivals, because not only is it hugely beneficial to personal growth, but it also lets other New Zealand musicians know that actually, we have the potential to go anywhere and do anything we could possibly want to do, and that we should always dream big! Though we are a small country, our musicians deserve to have the confidence that comes with the knowledge that actually, we have a definite place in the music world, — Alexa says.