When I first started singing I had no idea where my love for this beautiful art would take me, I only knew that the sheer joy that I felt when I sang was a feeling that I never wanted to lose. I want to thank my parents because they work so hard to give me and my brothers these opportunities always putting us first and I want them both to know that we really appreciate it. Here’s a bit about my journey so far:
I was born in Winsford, Cheshire, in Northern England. I started classical ballet and tap aged just three, I eventually achieved distinctions in BBO ballet grade 7 and commendations for tap. It was a childhood dream of my Mums to have dance lessons, so all my family started ballroom dancing together when I was about 10, I was highly commended in IDTA Silver Ballroom, and achieved honours in Silver medal tests in Club and Latin dancing only missing out on my gold medals because I broke my foot just before the exam. I also enjoyed contemporary dance at High School to A level, I still like to choreograph and perform.
I joined Stagecoach Performing Arts at the age of six with my older brother, who was eight at the time, on Saturday mornings taking classes in acting, singing and dancing. I regularly performed in Musical Theatre productions with them in Northwich and Love to Dance, undertaking numerous chorus/cast performances and many fabulous opportunities in main roles such as Annie, Dorothy, Mary Poppins, and Nancy to mention just a handful of my favourites.
On entering High School I submitted a portfolio of my achievements in the “performing arts” and “maths” to NAGTY, the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth who invited me to become a member. One project at Leeds University with NAGTY involved designing sets, after studying the lyrics, and translating the libretto into English from Dvorak’s opera ‘Ruselka’. At 16 years of age I achieved 7 A*’s, 3 A grade GCSEs and 2 BTEC Distinction *s; as an enthusiastic pupil I went on to gain AS level Maths and top A grades in ‘A level’ Music, Drama*, Dance and a BTEC Distinction* in Music Theatre at Knutsford High School 6th Form in Cheshire. I was elected as a member of the school parliament by my peers and was an active participant in school life.
I discovered my love of opera and classical music at the age of eleven when I started singing lessons with Jayne Wilson GRNCM at High School. Coming from a non-musical family the power and emotion of these beautiful arias attracted me like a moth to a flame. At 16, with Jayne’s advice and encouragement, I successfully auditioned at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, receiving specialised musical training, principal study voice with Joy Naylor, passing ABRSM grade 8 vocal with distinction and a second study piano with Val Eastham passing grade 5 piano with Merit. I also took piano lessons and ABRSM music theory passing grade 5 with Distinction with Jan Bartai GTLC (Hon).
Jayne suggested entering a couple of classes in singing competitions from the age of 14 and I went on to compete successfully in several North West music festivals winning 54 awards in 12 competitions more than half of them first prizes, gratefully receiving lots of adjudication advise from many different experienced judges in order to improve and grow. In my last festival, before leaving home and commencing studies at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in 2012 I won the Senior Division Singing Class in the Warrington Competition for Young Musicians.
Over the past few years this love and passion for the genre has grown and I’m very pleased with my conservatoire selected from my Undergraduate study offers because of their student centred learning; dance opportunities; cross discipline collaboration and their desire to teach healthy, sophisticated singing at the RCS in the heart of Glasgow, so that my dream of becoming a world class opera singer is hopefully one step closer thanks to the fabulous teaching and support across all departments. I commenced my BMus (Hons) programme in September 2012 studying voice with Kathleen McKellar Ferguson DRSAMD.
As I entered my second year at the conservatoire I was nominated to sing at the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary competition in Blackburn and was awarded the audience prize having won a coveted place in the final. In 2013, I went on to win 3rd prize in the Hugh S Roberton Scot Song Competition and in May 2014, was Highly Commended in the Jean Highgate scholarship, with a wonderful 3rd place in ‘The Voice of the Future’ at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod with over 25,000 Facebook likes for the televised final performance.
I sing as guest soloist with the fabulous Tideswell Male Voice Choir , during the past six years they have raised in excess of £100,000 to support local charities and various cancer related groups, with concerts raising funds for Help for Heroes; Macmillan Nurses etc. I have also performed to support many charity events such as: Youth Positive YP+; the North West Air Ambulance; the Rotary Club; Marie Curie Cancer Care at the Grosvenor Hotel, Chester and the St Mary’s Neonatal Centre at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Although my involvement in the performing arts took up most of my time sport also played a big part in my life I obtained my second dan black belt in Shukokai Karate, played netball and hockey at school and swam regularly with the Winsford Amateur Swimming Club for five years.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from watching my parents its that you never get anything unless you’re prepared to work hard for it, nothing is just handed to you on a plate. I have years of training ahead of me and relish the challenge ahead. Ashutosh Khandekar, the Editor of ‘Opera Now’ wrote in the February 2015 issue: ‘it’s a long, hard slog that includes an endless round of training, competitions and auditions, with the occasional low-paid job’. To help to raise funds for my training I have released a cd of love songs I’ve been working on during my first two years at the RCS, just voice and piano:
Available to download on
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Or play my videos here :
Watch Charlottes most recent finalist performance in Voice of the Future recorded by Llangollen tv http://llangollen.tv/en/clip/c1-2/