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Celebrating Dame Sarah Connolly: A Former Pupil of Queen Margaret's School, York, Awarded The King’s Medal for Music 2023

OM Receives King’s Medal for Music

Published 9th January 2024

Queen Margaret's School, York, proudly celebrates the remarkable achievement of former pupil Dame Sarah Connolly, honoured with The King’s Medal for Music 2023.

The announcement from Buckingham Palace is a testament to Connolly's remarkable contributions to the world of music, further illuminating the school's legacy of nurturing exceptional talent.

Dame Sarah Connolly, an acclaimed English mezzo-soprano renowned for her exceptional artistry on the concert platform and operatic stage, expressed gratitude upon receiving this prestigious accolade. Connolly remarked, "I feel incredibly honoured to receive this medal from my peers, and from King Charles whose personal involvement in the Arts means so much."

A proud alumna of Queen Margaret's School, York, Dame Sarah Connolly's musical journey began with a foundation of nurturing support and talent. Her passion for music was cultivated during her early years, eventually leading her to study piano and singing at the Royal College of Music, where she later became a Fellow, a testament to her dedication and artistry.

Connolly's musical legacy is evident in her prolific recordings that include Elgar’s Sea Pictures and The Dream of Gerontius, as well as Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Her recordings have not only received critical acclaim but also won numerous awards, showcasing the depth and brilliance of her artistry.

Connolly is no stranger to royal accolades. She was invested as a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours and previously awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours. In 2020, the Royal Philharmonic Society recognized her exceptional services to music by bestowing upon her the title of Honorary Member.

Buckingham Palace, in its official statement, hailed Connolly as an "exceptional artist" and commended her for her advocacy for greater support for the arts. Commenting on the award, committee chair and Master of The King’s Music, Judith Weir said:

“A world-renowned British singer, much loved by her listeners and admired by her colleagues; Dame Sarah is a passionate defender of musical education, the musical profession, and the art of music itself. It is very good news that we can celebrate her exemplary career with the award of The King’s Medal for Music.”

Dame Sarah Connolly’s journey into the world of music was nurtured during her time at Queen Margaret's School, York, where her talent and dedication flourished. As a distinguished former pupil, her achievements stand as a testament to the school’s commitment to fostering excellence across diverse fields.

The entire Queen Margaret's School community celebrates and congratulates Dame Sarah Connolly on this distinguished honour. Her remarkable journey from student to globally celebrated artist serves as an inspiration to current and future students, highlighting the transformative power of music and the enduring legacy of Queen Margaret's School in shaping extraordinary individuals.

Dame Sarah Connolly receives King's Medal for Music
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