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Hunstanton ukulelist realises musical dream



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A ukulelist who is on the line up for the Festival 3 By The Sea Hunstanton has realised one of her musical dreams.

The festival was created by Hunstanton and District Festival of Arts (HDFA) and will be taking place on June 2 on the lower green.

For Celeste 'Este' Holdridge the festival has given her the opportunity to play solo on her ukulele in front of an audience.

Este, who plays the ukulele, is on the line up for Festival 3 By the Sea in Hunstanton this year and will start studying music in Brighton. (54531385)
Este, who plays the ukulele, is on the line up for Festival 3 By the Sea in Hunstanton this year and will start studying music in Brighton. (54531385)

With this experience benefitting her confidence Este has won a coveted place at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) in Brighton.

Encouraged and supported by the HDFA’s director of music Ian Wells, Este and her ukulele have become a familiar sight as part of the line-up of live musicians in Hunstanton’s music events.

But according to her family being able to perform in front of an audience at Hunstanton was crucial to her dream of completing a degree in music.

Ian Wells who organises, performs and presents the acts at the music festival Hunstanton (50037294)
Ian Wells who organises, performs and presents the acts at the music festival Hunstanton (50037294)

Verity Jowett, of HDFA, said: "It is so nice for us to hear how instrumental we were, if you'll pardon the pun, in Celeste aka Este being able to realise her dreams."

Celeste and her family live in Huntingdon in the East of England and from an early age Este has wanted to study music at university.

Peter Holdridge, Este's dad said: "We can’t pretend that Celeste is a Norfolk girl but Hunstanton has become a second home for us in all senses of the term.

Members of the audience watching The Hunstanton Music Festival on The Green.. (16254541)
Members of the audience watching The Hunstanton Music Festival on The Green.. (16254541)

"We realised back in 2008 that we would never be able to take our son Jimmy who has autism on a conventional holiday again.

"The irony was he always loved beaches but staying in someone else’s self catering property was something he could no longer cope with.

"So buying our own house was the only way we could get family holidays and he could get time digging in the sand. "We have been to Hunny every month since apart from when lockdown made it illegal.

Hunstanton was busy on New Year's Day. (54071495)
Hunstanton was busy on New Year's Day. (54071495)

"So we are perhaps not your typical second homers. But it's like those sticks of rock, bite it all the way down, you'll still read Hunstanton to paraphrase a line from Brighton Rock."

It was Este's experience performing live on Hunstanton’s iconic bandstand as part of the Buskers Corner programme which tipped the balance in her favour and won her a coveted place at BIMM Brighton.

Learning that she could perform live and be appreciated was a deciding factor in Este’s decision to apply for a music degree in the first place, but it was made quite clear at her audition just how important this experience was in the decision to recommend her for a place.

As a result, she will begin her three year course to attain a degree in popular music performance at BIMM, Brighton in September this year.

Hunstanton audiences will get to see Este perform again this summer.

HDFA is funded by the borough council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk with the sole purpose of bringing the arts to Hunstanton and the local area.

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