A TALENTED young musician and performer who honed her craft in Colchester is now progressing her career at a revered educational institution.

Lottie Anstee first started her foray into the world of music at the age of 15 when she joined the Essex Music Services’ Essex Youth Orchestra.

Before long, the 19-year-old, who studied at the Colchester County High School for Girls, was made the flagship ensemble’s principal flute player.

The gifted flautist, who is also part of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, is now composing music at the University of Cambridge.

She joined the prestigious institution in October 2019 after her skills helped her secure a place at the university’s Churchill College.


Lottie said: “When I was accepted, I felt extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to explore the depths of music with such inspiring and encouraging academics and peers.

“I was also so excited to begin a new chapter in my life. It felt like the culmination of all the hard work and dedication I had put into my studies over the past years.

“My time at Cambridge so far has been overwhelmingly positive and full of memories, musical and otherwise.

“I have been able to engage in aspects of music that have been both fascinating and fulfilling.”

Since starting at the college, Lottie has been part of the Instrumental Awards Scheme on two separate occasions and is now enjoying her role as the main flautist of the Cambridge University Sinfonia.

Making the most of developing her musical techniques at such a high-profile establishment, she remains passionate about the benefits of music on mental health.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, for example, Lottie has used music as a form of escapism for both herself and her audiences.

She added: “During these very challenging times, I have been so grateful to be able to continue my flute lessons, often online.

“I am exceedingly fortunate to have been able to immerse myself in the joys of flute playing and to feel such a strong sense of purpose through troubled times.

“It has also been such a pleasure to delight others, supporting their mental wellbeing, through the well received recording of my recital.”

In recent years the conversation around the lack of diversity across the music industry has quite started to gather a great deal more momentum than it ever has before.

Lottie said she has always recognised the importance of championing musicians from all walks of life, but says her time Cambridge has heightened her desire to eradicate single-mindedness.

“I have become increasingly enthusiastic about diversity in music,” she added.

“This has been specifically sparked by my recent module on Women and Music.

“Being at Cambridge has helped me to develop my critical and independent thought processes on an extremely wide variety of musical topics and genres.”

Lottie admits to not knowing exactly what path her career in music will take when she eventually leaves Churchill College.

But said if nothing else, she will continue to strive to use music to mitigate division, heal wounds, facilitate togetherness, build relationships, and melodically push a message of hope.

Lottie concluded: “My hopes for the future are to help improve the lives of others with the power of music which I passionately believe can cross all barriers and divides.

“My plans for after university are still very open, but I hope to continue to perform and share my love for music with others.”

For more about Essex Music Services, which is run by Essex County Council, visit essexmusichub.org.uk.

The music group’s lessons, which are currently being delivered remotely and online, can also be booked by emailing musichub@essex.gov.uk.