Music has always been a major part of my life.
I began piano lessons at the age of four and to broaden my musical awareness, took up the flute at the age of ten. After achieving grade eight piano and flute, I started to play the harp in 2000. By the age of eighteen I had passed Grade 8 examinations on all three instruments with distinction and achieved the certificate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for Performance on Piano.
I graduated from the University of Nottingham with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Music (majoring in harp performance) in 2007. Since then I have achieved the Licentiate of Trinity College London with distinction for harp performance. I have had the privilege of studying with Danielle Perrett, Brian Wilson and Rachel Masters. I am now a free-lance harpist, playing at weddings, functions and concerts throughout the year and enjoy a busy teaching schedule. I am recommended by many wedding venues across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and in 2013 was chosen as one of ‘Britains’ 10 Best Harpists’ by Bride Magazine.
As a soloist I’ve taken part in a number of music festivals, including winning my class at the Reigate Festival and in 2004 being a finalist in the Maidstone Young Musician of the Year Competition. I have given numerous public recitals in the Djanogly Recital Hall, Nottingham. Since graduating, I have also played as principal harp with a number of orchestras on a professional basis, including English Pro Musica, Maidstone Symphony Orchestra, Folkestone and Hythe Symphony Orchestra and for various choral societies and amateur dramatic groups. I was principal harp of the Kent County Youth Orchestra, one of the leading youth orchestras in the United Kingdom and harpist for the Kent Youth Chamber Orchestra. I’ve also played with the Maidstone Youth Music Society and the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra.
As a pianist, I’ve held the position of Musical Director for the East Sutton Community Youth Theatre, where productions included “Blood Brothers” and “Fame!”. I was also a member of Spianato piano trio, who performed at functions around Maidstone.
In 2008 I achieved my Post Graduate Certificate of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, after which I have worked in Kent and Surrey as a specialist music teacher at a number of primary and preparatory schools, currently as Head of Music at Chinthurst School, Surrey and specialist harp teacher at Epsom College, Surrey. Whilst working as a harp consultant for Pilgrim Harps, Surrey, I ran harp workshops in schools, introducing the harp to children and teenagers, and given masterclasses at the Edinburgh Harp Festival.
Nicola Veal, BA(Hons), PGCE, LTCL, CertGSMD(P)