Hillary scholar Rachel Twyman raised over $2,000 for the Himalayan Trust through her Concert for Nepal in October this year, following in the footsteps of her inspiration Sir Edmund Hillary.
The Bachelor of Music student first launched Concert for Nepal in 2016, in preparation for her trip to Nepal through the Step Higher Award. Along with three other Hillary scholars and a University lecturer, Rachel trekked to Ama Dablam Base Camp and visited local villages and schools - a “life-changing experience” for the students.
“It was such a great opportunity to visit the schools and communities that Sir Ed loved so much – I was really inspired by his work,” she says.
Rachel organised her second Concert for Nepal fundraiser two months ago. With a wide range of performers including Waikato students, staff and alumni, all proceeds of the concert went to the Himalayan Trust.
“Even though organising the concert made for some very stressful few weeks, knowing that I was helping the Nepali people meant the world to me,” she says.
Rachel isn’t scared of a challenge. The talented violinist developed a repetitive strain injury during her degree, due to structural issues in her body. But her love for music pushed her to carry on; she adapted her playing technique and started a new exercise regime to avoid injury. She is thankful for the support she received through the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme.
“Being a Hillary scholar means so much to me. It has allowed me to follow my passion while still maintaining my studies. I have had so many incredible opportunities and have always been supported.”
As she comes to the end of her degree, Rachel is looking forward to putting the skills she has learnt over the last four years into practice.
“I want to experience all sides of the music industry – producing, event-planning, collaborating and performing. As long as I can use my skills to impact others’ lives for the better, I will be happy.”