Portrait of John Lyon

John Lyon

What made you want to study your course at the University?

I have loved music for as long as I can remember, wanting to follow in the footsteps of two musical brothers. I was lucky enough to have violin and piano lessons, and live in an area of outstanding extra-curricular musical opportunities, such as multiple orchestras. As a result, music was a very logical choice of study.

The choice of subject was always fairly clear, but Leeds immediately gave the impression of an extremely welcoming and friendly department that seemed well-equipped to help its students and push them to achieve their aspirations. Aside from the music department itself, the University Union looked to have an exhaustive supply of great opportunities, and I was particularly interested in what the music society had to offer. In addition to this, the city itself immediately struck me as a great place to live, and all the alumni student I had talked to had had a great time.

Describe the aspects of the course that you have enjoyed the most. 

One of the largest parts of my university life over the past three years has been my involvement with the music society. As an organisation, it is quite unique in comparison to other university music societies, as it is entirely student-run. It was here that I was given the chance to start conducting, and have resultantly had the opportunity to direct two ensembles, conduct my favourite symphonies and even tour to Berlin.

My final year was when I felt completely able to explore my academic interests, and even though writing my dissertation was challenging and stressful at times, the end result was extremely rewarding. My dissertation is the proudest I have been of an academic piece of work, and I look forward to similar challenges in the future.

What are you planning to do once you graduate?

I have an extremely busy year ahead of me: alongside returning to Leeds to undertake a Masters, I will also be on the committee of the music society, musically directing an opera, and doing everything I can to secure a future in conducting.