A former Marling and Stroud High Sixth form student from Nailsworth won the Chris Treglown Award for opera in Cheltenham on Saturday.

Judges awarded Soprano Megan Strachan, 26, £1,000 after her performance at The Chapel Arts Centre in Cheltenhan, which will go towards her tuition fees at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.

She sung three pieces from Don Giovanni, by Mozart, A Streetcar Named Desire and Die Fledermaus.

“I was pretty chuffed, a little bit overwhelmed because there were so many amazing singers. I wasn’t expecting it but I’m honoured,” said Megan.

“The Chapel Arts is a lovely little venue and the acoustic is phenomenal to sing in so it was really fun”

Stroud News and Journal: Left: Megan Strachan holds the Chris Treglown Award at The Chapel Arts Centre in CheltenhamLeft: Megan Strachan holds the Chris Treglown Award at The Chapel Arts Centre in Cheltenham

Megan began singing with her church choir at aged eight before getting private lessons. She started out in musical theatre before leaving school and falling in love with opera.

“I find it a very freeing way to sing, it’s very difficult to quantify but I love the drama of it.”

At the Chapel Arts Centre she was given a ten minute slot to wow the judges at the Chris Treglown Foundation Fund, which was set up in memory of talented Cornish singer who died in a car accident in 2012.

His parents set up the fund to help young singers aged 16 - 26 to overcome the challenges they face, both in gaining experience and to develop their skills in the worlds of classical and musical theatre.

“I was just really pleased to be singing in front of an audience again,” said Megan.

“In other years you might have been more focused on it as a competition, but this year it was just really nice to sing with a live pianist and stand on the same stage as other singers and to sing to an audience who are actually there and not on the other end of a screen.”

Megan will use the funds to continue her Masters course in London, where she hopes to next year move from Nailsworth after spending the first two terms learning remotely.