Song competition returns with top class singing sensations

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

Saturday 19 March 2022 1:00

The Charles Wood International Song Competition returns for its fourth year with an exciting new format, which brings competitors from across the UK, Ireland and beyond to perform in Armagh this month.

Featuring a Junior Class for singers aged 18-21 and a Senior Class for singers aged 22-28, the preliminary virtual round has already taken place. An incredible batch of entries has been whittled down with only the top five in each category competing in the live finals, which will be held in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral on Saturday 19th March.

The Junior Class which takes place at 2.30pm features Aimee Banks, Samantha Brady, David Kennedy, India Lord and Daisy Mitchell. Representing the Royal Irish Academy, Royal Holloway College (University of London) and the Royal Academy of Music London, each of these talented young singers, will be accompanied by pianist Gail Evans.

The Senior Class Final will commence at 7pm and the shortlisted competitors are: British Indian soprano Natasha Agarwal, ‘The Ginger Soprano’ Rosie Lavery, London-based American baritone Jared Michaud, Portuguese soprano Margarida vaz Neto, and Vienna-based baritone Stephen Whitford. Accompanied by pianist Ruth McGinley, this will be a very special evening.

Celebrity vocal coach Paul Farrington, Northern Irish mezzo soprano Carolyn Dobbin and Fionnuala Jay O’Boyle, Vice-Chair of NI Opera, will have the difficult task of deciding which competitors have impressed the most.

The Competition awards numerous cash prizes, including £1000 to the winner of the Senior Class. It also provides career enhancing performance opportunities. This year sees the introduction of a new Irish Prize, which will be awarded to the most promising young performer from the island of Ireland.

Admission to both finals is £5, payable at the door. Do come along and support these singing stars of the future, and share in the drama and excitement. For further details, see www.charleswoodsummerschool.org

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