I had a very good day today hearing the 9's to 13's singing classes. As per usual there is far more singing of songs from shows and pop ballads than standard classical repertoire, and infact I only heard one child sing an Italian aria and a couple of folk songs from the splendid purple Sing Together book !
However that one Caro Mio Ben was sung by a stunning young lady of only 12 years old who sounds and looks as if she is not much short of 17. She sang with such attention to both technical and interpretational detail, if I had closed my eyes she could have been a post grade 8 Junior Royal Academy girl. I was astonished by the depth of the tone, and by the depth of her understanding. Actually I did tackle her mum with regard to her possible entry to the JRAM ! Never one to miss a chance or a young talent !
The good news is the preponderance of modern music is, at least, being well sung, there is no hint of danger, over pushed chest registers or shouting too high. That, at least makes me able to enjoy the job! I have been to festivals sometimes where I hear yelling, shouting, pouting and worse, all in the name of Andrew Lloyd Webber or Mr Schonberg.......of Les Miserables fame or infamy!
The last time I heard Caro Mio Ben was is Hong Kong as the set piece for one of the age groups, and I was pulled straight back to the Luk Qwok hotel and lots of enthusiastic boys. The very special young singer, S, sang a wonderfully legato and very moving performance of that most famous of Italian Arias !
The good news is that here in Saltash I won't be faced with 55 singers followed by 55 photographs!
Update - The young lady of whom I spoke earlier was the only entrant in the Junior Recital class. Her programme was magnificent and of such amazing quality I was beyond blown away. She or her teacher had selected perfect repertoire, entirely suitable for a 12 year old, she began with The Dormouse's Carol followed by A Clare Benediction by Rutter and finished with I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music. I wish I could have videod it and posted the short, but perfectly formed 10 minutes. Sadly, but utterly correctly, it is completely forbidden to make recordings, take photos etc.
Believe me, it was a small miracle. You heard it first in Saltash !
The girl certainly had confidence!