CONGRATUALTIONS are in order for a former student of Cirencester College who has recently been afforded a place at a prestigious musical college to study opera and performance.

Erin Hughes, 19, who left Cirencester College in 2012, was given an unconditional offer to read for a Bachelor of Music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Since leaving Cirencester, the Siddington-born soprano has been touring the world as a professional opera singer and singing in locations as diverse as Mexico City and Bologna in Italy.

Erin said: “I am delighted to have received a place at the very the college and to have been blessed with such amazing opportunities to sing in such beautiful venues.

“With a wedding to look forward to as well, 2014 is looking like a fantastic year. As I looked on the stage in the Teatro Comunale, a beautiful 250-year-old theatre, and looked out at its glory I knew why I had devoted so many hours to singing practice while I was at school and college.”

Erin’s talent for singing was discovered at an early age and in 2012 she was runner up in BBC Radio 2’s Young Chorister of the Year.

Kim Clifford, principal of Cirencester College said: “We are so proud of Erin and delighted that she has gained such exceptional recognition so early in her career in such a competitive world.

“Going to study at the Royal Northern College of Music is a fantastic opportunity and well deserved. Erin is both extremely talented and hard-working and we wish her every success for the future.”