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Three East Sussex College students win top awards in prestigious Design Challenge

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For the ninth consecutive year, East Sussex College Lewes (@WeAreESCG) students celebrate success in the prestigious @RoyalOperaHouse Design Challenge. 

The annual Royal Opera House Design Challenge is somewhat a rite of passage for Creative students at East Sussex College in Lewes. The national competition, open to schools and colleges across the country, has seen East Sussex College students the recipients of its top awards since 2013.

For the 2021 challenge, it was almost a clean sweep for Lewes students as they took three of the five awards in the FE category. This year’s challenge required students to submit set designs and marketing strategies for the classic French opera, Carmen. Trinity Bird, 18, from Haywards Heath, won the award for Best Set Design and George Trant, 18, from Uckfield, won Best Marketing Strategy and Design. The third winner for East Sussex College was Echo Goddard, 18, from Lewes, who received the Director’s Choice Award.

James DiBiase, A-Level Art tutor, says, “It’s been another incredible performance by our students in this year’s Design Challenge. Winning three of the five awards is sensational.

“This competition is very special and we look forward to competing in it each year because it provides a fantastic creative outlet for our Art & Design students. They’re able to put their talents, skills, and work ethic to the test on a real client brief, set by the Royal Opera House. I’m really proud of their achievements.”

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Mark Watts, Assistant Principal at ESC Lewes, adds, “We are delighted to be celebrating the success of our creative students once again. This is a fantastic record for the college and an amazing experience for the students, who can move on from ESC with this award on the CV and work in their portfolio.”

ESC’s victorious history in the competition has seen its students’ work used as an example and inspiration for other colleges wishing to take part. As a result, ESC has been made the only ‘Gold Standard’ for the competition.

Amy McGann, Head of National Programmes at the Royal Opera House, concludes, “I have been so impressed by the standard and level of creativity from the young people across the country in this year’s Design Challenge. Congratulations to all who took part, and I look forward to meeting the winners.”

The winners will be invited to the Royal Opera House to collect their prizes, have a backstage tour and spend some time in one of the production departments.

The winning students’ work will be displayed in the Linbury Foyer at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, from 24 September 2021, which also marks the 10th anniversary of the Design Challenge.

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