World Heart Beat

Marcia Elton Vocal Bursary Programme  

World Heart Beat Music Academy is delighted to announce the launch of the Marcia Elton Vocal Bursary Programme established by the lyric soprano Ilona Domnich, which will start in September 2024. 

The bursary will support weekly tuition for young Heart Beat vocalists with incredible opportunities for extra inspirational vocal masterclasses, workshops, expert guidance and vocal techniques.  

World Heart Beat has enjoyed a beautiful partnership with Ilona who, during Covid, offered free vocal online sessions to young music students giving them a chance to ‘be together’ and do something positive during such isolating times. Ilona performs regularly at World Heart Beat’s concert hall in Embassy Gardens and has set up the bursary in memory of Marcia Elton, in recognition of the support and assistance that this great lady gave to her whilst she was studying at the Royal College of Music. 

Marcia Elton’s story

Marcia was born into a musical family in 1923. Her grandmother owned a cinema in Liverpool during the silent movie era and its success was due, in no small part, to the piano ability of her mother and aunts to improvise along to the films. 

Although Marcia had hoped to go to music college and become a piano teacher, she was unable to attend due to the Second World War and joined the Wrens instead. 

Marriage and motherhood beckoned after the war, but she continued playing for the rest of her life. Classical music was her main love, but she embraced so many different forms of music including jazz and the Beatles. 

“In 1999, she was introduced to Ilona Domnich, who she invited to live with her when she first came to London to study at the Royal College of Music. Ilona brought so much pleasure into her life and quickly became another ‘granddaughter’ to her. Their friendship continued for the rest of her life until her death in 2017 and she was so proud of her accomplishments and success – attending many of her performances all around the UK.”

Liz Roche, Marcia’s daughter

And, in Ilona’s words

Marcia believed in me wholeheartedly, unconditionally, even before I fully believed in myself. In my experience this is one of the most crucial things that can happen in a young musician’s journey. In fact, it is impossible to become a successful solo musician without people like Marcia – a philanthropist, generous benefactor of arts and music. Although to call Marcia a philanthropist would be to ignore the extraordinary degree to which she involved and engaged herself with me and many lucky individuals!”

With huge thanks

With huge thanks to the benefactors from Jack’s Lake concerts and Monken Hadley Common Trust for funding the Marcia Elton Vocal Bursary programme. Many thanks also to Ilona, who will be holding concerts throughout the year to help raise funds; this is a truly amazing opportunity for our young vocalists. 

World Heart Beat uses the power of music to inspire, bring people together and make a positive impact

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