Stevenage stars of the future take a bow thanks to Guild’s support

Grant recipients pictured with Mayor of Stevenage Sherma Batson include: Daniel Garvin, violin, and

Grant recipients pictured with Mayor of Stevenage Sherma Batson include: Daniel Garvin, violin, and Lydia Dobson, cello; and back row, Megan Cowlam, Hannah Coombe, Jochebel MacCarthy, Bethany Filler, Emily Hammond, Eric Caterer Cave and Stefan Healy. Lucy Hunt is on the left with the multicoloured top. - Credit: Archant

Talented young performers who are determined to carve out a career in the uncertain world of the arts showed off their skills as they received support to pursue their dreams.

They gathered at the Community Arts Centre on the Roaring Meg retail park site to be saluted by the Stevenage Arts Guild, and receive grant support to help them achieve their ambitions.

Mayor of Stevenage Sherma Batson joined the guild’s chair Hilary Spiers to hand out the grants, and the audience also enjoyed performances from young violinist Daniel Garvin, 13, already a member of the National Schools Symphony Orchestra, and cellist Lydia Dobson, 18, who has just started at the Royal College Of Music in London, as well as singers Emily Hammond, Jochebel MacCarthy and Bethany Filler.

Emily, 18, is auditioning for a performing arts college place, Jochebel, 18, studies at John Henry Newman School and hopes to study musical theatre at university, while Cambridge Performing Arts student Bethany, 20, also works with pupils at Camps Hill Primary School in Stevenage.

Also receiving support were former Nobel School pupil Abbie Steer, 19, who is training to be a dance teacher and already working with the Footworks School of Dance in Stevenage; Hannah Combe, 14, who hopes to be a music therapist; actor, singer and dancer Aimee Hammond, 15; Barnwell School pupil Lucy Hunt, 16, who also hopes to be a dance teacher; Megan Cowlam, also 16, who wants to be a professional dancer and has already appeared regularly on the Gordon Craig Theatre stage; former Barclay School student Eric Caterer Cave, 18, now studying at the Central School of Ballet in London; talented singer Bethany Huckle 18, another former Nobel School student now studying musical theatre at the prestigious Urdang Academy in London; and Stefan Healy, 21, a former Barnwell School pupil who is now auditioning for film and acting roles.

Also receiving support but unable to attend the event was Damani Campbell Williams, the 21-year-old former Barclay School student who has overcome injuries and setbacks to secure a coveted place as a principal dancer in the Czech Republic, where he is about to star in a production of Spartacus.

Find out more about how the guild supports local arts activities at