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Holly Marland


Holly is rapidly gaining a reputation as a unique and exciting kora player, combining the authentic rhythms and songs of West Africa with her own compositions and collaborating with a culturally diverse range of instrumentalists and artists. Last year Holly performed as Kora soloist with the band Delphic the Manchester International Festival, toured New York performing in a variety of hospitals and healthcare settings, arranged and performed settings for Kora and choir with the BBC Daily Service Singers for a live broadcast on Radio 4 and gave many solo concerts across the UK.

Holly has a First Class BA hons degree in Popular Music and Recording from Salford University as well as an MA in Community Music Therapy (Nordoff Robbins) from City University in London.

A freelance professional singer, Holly performs weekly with Radio 4’s Daily Service Singers and regularly participates in broadcasts, concerts and recordings as a soloist and choir member. She has performed with the Britten Singers, Halle Orchestra, Lancashire Sinfonietta, Goldberg Ensemble and many other notable groups. Holly is also a member of the early music trio, the Accordes, as a singer, recorder player and lutenist as well as performing with an award winning larger ensemble, Partita.

Holly set up the Music for Health programme at Central Manchester University Hospitals in response to a burgeoning global interest in the relationship between music, health and wellbeing. The programme now stands as a beacon of good practice in the UK and internationally, providing training and support for student and professional musicians from across Europe who are interested in working in health and social care settings

In 2009, Holly was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to explore the different uses of music with older people in New York and Paris. In 2012, she was awarded a Finzi Scholarship to study the Kora with Muhammed Saho, an extraordinary griot from the Gambia with whom Holly spent 7 weeks.