FIVE singers from Huddersfield Choral Society Youth Choir have won places in a 150 strong choir which will sing at next year’s Olympic Games.
The heats have been tough but Ellie Pawsey, Sophie Daniels, Laura Turner, Ann Wilkes and Matthew Pitchforth have come through with flying colours.
All five have been offered places in the Youth Music Voices Ensemble for the Olympic Choir.
It has meant a big commitment from their singers and from their families. In 2012 they will be singing in a number of important concerts as well as appearances at the Olympics and Paralympics.
Their dream of Olympic “singing gold” started in January with the first round of auditions.
Susan Wilkinson, musical director of the Choral’s Junior Choirs, discovered that auditions were being held in Leeds to find 14 to 18-year-olds good enough to sing in the Youth Music Voices Ensemble for the Olympic Choir 2012.
Those auditions went on throughout the spring with the numbers being whittled down by ever tougher tests.
At the final, each young person had to sing two songs of their choice in contrasting styles – X Factor style but with no accompaniment.
Susan is delighted that five of her team have made it through to a choir of 150 of the country’s best young singers.
But having got their places, the work starts now.
The five Huddersfield singers will head for residential training sessions in July, October and February. Š Although the accommodation and training is free, their families have to get them to and from the venues and most of them are in the south of England.
Undaunted, the parents are right there backing their young singing stars.
Ellie Pawsey is off to university in the autumn and her parents said: “'What a wonderful ending to her many years in the choir.’’
Susan said: “The rigorous audition process was designed to pick out not only good voices, but also those with a stage presence, the ability to learn and sing in a variety of different styles and young people who could work together as a team.
“They have certainly chosen the right people here.’’
Ann Wilkes is in her final year at Greenhead 6th Form College and has just taken her A2 level exams.
She has won many classes at music festivals all over the north of England. Currently studying voice with Sandra Dugdale in Manchester at the Royal Northern, Ann intends to pursue her vocal studies after she leaves Greenhead.
She has been a member of the Choral Junior Choirs for 10 years, having come through the ranks from the Young Voices to the Youth Choir.
Ellie Pawsey is in her final year at Greenhead College and has also been taking A2 levels.
Ellie is off to the University of Central Lancashire in Preston to study Music Theatre. She would love to perform in West End shows eventually and has been a member of the Choral Junior Choirs for 10 years now, having come through the ranks from the Young Voices to the Youth Choir.
Sophie Daniels has also been doing her exams, but at Penistone Grammar School. She has won vocal classes at a few music festivals, including the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival.
Sophie has previously been awarded both Best Concert Performer and Choir Member of the Year in the Young Voices section of the Junior Choirs. Her aim is to go to university to do theatre studies.
Laura Turner is in Year 10 at Salendine Nook High school where she won the school talent show this year singing music from the show Phantom Of The Opera.
Laura has also been working for her Bronze Arts Award. She has been in the Choral’s Junior Choirs for about two years.
Matthew Pitchforth is also a year 10 student but at Spen Valley High School.
He’s a keen saxophone player and plays to a high standard.
He loves jazz and plays in jazz band Colloquium and with the Huddersfield Music Centre Wind Band.
He discovered he could also sing last September and joined the Choral Youth Choir Section.
Matthew has thrown himself into the Olympic choir auditioning process and is amazed to have won a place in the Youth Music 2012 Choir after singing for only a few months.
Well done to them all!