Alumni Services

Deborah Holborn

Deborah Holborn not only found her love of singing at Edinburgh, she also found her future husband.

Name Deborah Holborn (nee Miller)


Year of Graduation 2011
Deborah Holborn

Why did you choose the University of Edinburgh?  

Initially I chose Edinburgh because it’s such a beautiful city and I had already visited a few times as there was family nearby. Then I had a closer inspection at the course and loved it. It was important for me to have an academic grounding in music as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into performance. I enjoyed all of the classes, although found some more difficult than others. The teachers, especially my Director of Studies, Dr John Kitchen, were very supportive.

Music in the Community was a fantastic course and along with Dee Isaac’s work, I also went on a visit to Bosnia with Nigel Osborne to work musically with children who had been affected by the wars over there. Both of these opportunities helped me in preparation for my masters in Music Therapy at Queen Margaret University.

One of the many strengths of the University of Edinburgh is that there is a plethora of extra-curricular activities to choose from. Whilst studying I sang in many choirs and was on the committee of the Edinburgh Studio Opera. This society gave me my first real insight into performing opera, which has developed into a passion. It also provided many other performance opportunities for students from all studies and these performances were always of a very high standard.

I also tried out many other societies including musical theatre, swing dancing and the chocolate club but ended up joining the Edinburgh University Badminton Club. I was on the committee for this club for many years and made life-long friends! 

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University

I left the University to continue my studies at Queen Margaret. By this time I was well ingrained in Edinburgh city life and remained living in the city. I worked hard completing a Masters in Music Therapy, and continued to perform regularly in many choirs and as a soloist at many events. Although I really enjoyed all aspects of the Masters, it became clear to me that I enjoyed singing more and so I started the next stage of my journey.

I auditioned for conservatoires in London and was accepted at Trinity Laban. I was very sad to leave Edinburgh and all my friends and boyfriend, but the next stage of my life was starting.

Despite some health issues which interrupted my studies, I am now back on track and completing my postgraduate studies in voice at Trinity Laban. The conservatoire has been very supportive and it’s great to be singing again. I’ve also bumped into lots of other singers from Edinburgh all over London, which is really nice.

The boyfriend that I left in Edinburgh has now become my husband. I met Bruce in the first week of University in Grant House in Pollock Halls. We became friends, but it was only after we had finished our degrees that we start dating. We married in September 2016 and had lots of friends from Edinburgh come down for the wedding. It was amazing! 

One of the many strengths of the University of Edinburgh is that there is a plethora of extra-curricular activities to choose from.

Deborah Holborn

Alumni wisdom

The advice I would offer is go and explore - explore the city! Try all those odd clubs, sports, things that look like fun. You never know what you might find and what you’ll end up doing. You’re also unlikely to have so much free time again.