Next weekend 26/27th October I will be in Blackburn, Lancashire. I was thrilled and honoured to be one of two second year singers selected to represent my Conservatoire, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers. Each year the eight major Music Colleges in England, Scotland and Wales select two second year singers between the ages of 19 to 24 years.
I will be singing five songs in the first round of no more than 18 minutes duration. My Russian friend Olga Ivakina, will be joining me from Glasgow and she will be accompanied on piano by Greta Jackobsonaite.
I will be accompanied by George Todica a third year pianist from Romania, we have enjoyed teaming up together and get along fabulously, he has the same work ethic as me and regardless of the outcome of the competition I have made a new friend that I may not have come into contact with otherwise. I’m really looking forward to my first performance with him and I’m grateful for the practise time that he has provided.
The Kathleen Ferrier Society was formed to celebrate the life and music of Kathleen Ferrier, she was one of the world’s best loved singers. Her voice and warm personality ensured that she became one of the most celebrated British female singers of the 20th Century. Although her professional career was short, little more than ten years, and she died over half a century ago in 1953, she is still held in high regard today and remembered by many with great love and affection.
For anyone interested in joining the society you can find out more here.
If any of you are nearby on Sunday the event is available to watch, I am singing at 12:20 pm in the 10am to 1pm session. I can feel a frisson of excitement run through me just typing that! I hope there is an enthusiastic audience as it helps to get your “performance head on” if you know what I mean? You rehearse and rehearse and I just hope I can relax enough to enjoy the performance because that is what I love to do the most. When I have competed before it has been to test myself and to find ways to improve but this time I would love to repay the faith that the Conservatoire have shown in me and to thank my teachers at the conservatoire for all their help over the last twelve months and especially Kath, my vocal teacher.
If you watch ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in the States I feel like the celebrities must feel just before they dance. You’re waiting in the wings, everything that you have rehearsed running through your mind, then it’s your turn, you walk on to the stage the piano starts playing and you’re off with not just the audience in the room to please but the judges. At least you don’t get put under a spotlight and the bottom two have to sing off before elimination in front of everyone, I’m only just appreciating how hard that must be. I do wish all my fellow singers a good show and the best of luck to all the pianists who also have an accompanist’s prize to aim for.