Nicola receives CBE in New Years honours from Her Majesty the Queen.
I am very grateful to receive this honour. Thank you. This meaningful public recognition encourages me to deepen my commitment to music, to playing and to providing enrichment, inspiration and variation to the education system that serves communities throughout the UK. I am more resolved than ever to reinforce my advocacy for arts and culture, and to challenge what it means to teach music well. We often hear about the unintended benefits of studying music. We are also told that an education inclusive of the arts develops character. But, let’s also consider the simple and profound beauty of just seeing and hearing people playing and singing together, and offering something personal to an audience full of strangers? I have, so many times, witnessed the fulfilment, heightened emotion and sense of community this collective action produces. It shakes us out of the routine and connects us with a higher purpose. It is a truly beautiful, wondrous thing, worthy of our attention and our investment. I only hope to prove my worthiness of honours such as this one through my continued and absolute dedication.