A first class degree is music to the ears of history student Matt Niblett who combines his academic abilities with a remarkable musical talent.
A single subject historian, Matt has been a star in the Department since 1997-98, when he was awarded the F. & M. Kessner prize for the best performance in the first year.
Professor Norman Housley, of the Department of History, said: Matt had already given clear notice of his potential with school prizes plus a string of excellent GCSEs and A-levels. Matt was a veteran of the Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra, in which he played the clarinet, and entered the University with a Music Scholarship.
In November 1999 he was soloist with the Proteus Chamber Orchestra in Franck's Symphonic Variations, and on 3 May 2000 he gave a solo lunchtime concert of piano pieces by Scarlatti, Bartok, Brahms and Beethoven. A month later he was awarded one of the University's Pomerance Prizes for Music.
Shortly afterwards, the History Finals Board recommended him for a First. It also awarded him the Professor W.H. Brock Prize for the best undergraduate dissertation of the year and the Professor J. Simmons Prize for the best performance in the Special Subject papers - the latter being one of the distinctive features of the History degree at Leicester.
Professor Housley added: Matt has applied for postgraduate courses and with his superb track record it is expected that he will continue to achieve plaudits and prizes in the future.
NOTE TO NEWS AND PIX: Matt Niblett will be awarded his degree at the ceremony being held at the De Montfort Hall on Thursday July 20 at 11am.
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