In this issue of Amplify, we’d like to introduce you oboist Geiziane, who grew up in the biggest favela of São Paulo in Brazil. Geiziane is this year’s recipient of the Donald Graham Award and is also supported by International Students House.

‘Before I joined the Academy, I was living in Brazil with my family. I had the dream of studying at the Academy, but I didn't believe it could ever happen as I couldn't afford to pay for my tuition fees or my living expenses in London. I didn't even speak English back then, and nobody around me did either, so I had no one to practise with!

‘It's funny to think that one day I was living in the poorest area of my country, where nobody wants to go and which everybody is afraid of, and the next day I was moving to Regent’s Park to live at International Students House and study at a world-leading conservatoire.’

Geiziane says that her major aspiration after leaving the Academy is to share the skills and knowledge that she has acquired here with aspiring musicians back home.

‘Recently, I was talking to some friends in Brazil, who are also musicians. I was helping them to analyse a piece that they had been working on and one of them said to me: “Geizi, it is so incredible that you are sharing your knowledge with us”.

‘I still feel as though I am in a movie and I am the luckiest person in the world. Because you have believed in me, I can share what I have learnt with people back home, and maybe even contribute to their musical development as well.’

If you would like to help change the lives of aspiring young musicians such as Geiziane for the better, please visit our supporter page here.