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Cheryl Frances-Hoad

Photograph of Cheryl Frances-Hoad

“Caius helped me fulfill my potential and gave me the skills to create my own career path: for that I'm eternally grateful!”
Cheryl Frances-Hoad (1998 Music), Composer

I was incredibly daunted by just about everything when I arrived at Caius. Coming from The Yehudi Menuhin School, a specialist music school that allowed students a lighter academic schedule in order to concentrate on instrumental practice, I felt hideously unqualified. I had two A-levels, and hadn't even made my grades: talking to other students at a Harvey Court 'meet and greet' event at the beginning of term, all of whom seemed to have four A*s, just made me more terrified! I had a lot of catching up to do in my first year, and spent much of this time parroting views I read in books, too scared to put my own thoughts into essays. But it was through composing that I really found my confidence, and the support that Caius gave me has had a profound effect on my career. 

I'm still realising, eighteen years after graduating, the ways in which my time at Caius helped me. I write contemporary classical music full time now, and a large part of that is choral music – it was Caius College Choir who commissioned and performed all of my early choral repertoire: one of these works went on to win a major UK prize, which resulted in commissions from other choirs pouring in. Years after I graduated, it was Caius College Choir who recorded my first choral CD. Caius helped me fulfill my potential and gave me the skills to create my own career path: for that I'm eternally grateful!