Former Pupil: Ashleigh Gra
Ashleigh is a former pupil of Newbattle High School who after receiving funding from Midlothian Council, studied Musical Theatre at the Guildford Conservatoire where she graduated in 2003 with honours and received the Margaret Veale award for singing.
In 2001, Ashleigh paid a visit to Newbattle High School to take part in an ACE day, where she talked about her life at college. During her talk, she was surprised by a television crew from the BBC show Star for a Night.
Her professional career since then has included performances in Taboo (based on the life of Boy George), Only you can save mankind as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Notes from New York in London's West End and a touring production of Grease.
In June 2007, Ashleigh returned to Newbattle to judge our Young Musician of the Year final. We were delighted to her that she was about to embark on her first full West End production of Wicked as first cover for "Elphaba", the lead role. She remained with the cast for three years until March 2010, returning briefly in 2013.
In June 2014, it was announced that Ashleigh would be taking the lead role of Elphaba in Wicked again in the touring production that will be coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse, amongst other locations.
An Ace Day for Ashleigh
written by Alison Thayne
Ex-pupil Ashleigh Gray took to our stage on the 14th February 2001 thinking that she was
going to be talking about her new academic life in a London college.
Little did SHE know!
Newbattle Community High's Ace Day took place in our main hall. There, many pupils
participated in activities which would help them learn about further and
higher education. Many ex-pupils also attended the Ace day in which
they helped our third year pupils learn about life beyond secondary
Ashleigh was invited onto the stage, where Mr Taylor proceeded to ask
her questions about how her new life in London, studying performing
arts and what she had to do in order to get there.
Ashleigh was telling of her many qualifications and achievements when
a strangely familiar voice announced from behind the curtain that she
was going to be a star for a night! Jane McDonald from the well known
BBC Television programme Star for a Night burst onto stage with her camera
crew. Ashleigh was absolutely overwhelmed and was left speechless.
Tears of happiness streamed down her face as her family appeared alongside her on the stage.
Lorraine Cormack who has nurtured Ashleigh's voice since she was in
First Year, rushed to congratulate her. The whole school was
absolutely gobsmacked that Jane McDonald was here at Newbattle,
but so proud of Ashleigh, and everyone wished her all the best when
she appears on television.
Ashleigh will always be a star in our eyes.
Good luck, Ashleigh!