Rugby school chorister on song for stardom after BBC competition triumph - The Rugby Observer

Rugby school chorister on song for stardom after BBC competition triumph

Andy Morris 3rd Nov, 2017   0

STARDOM beckons for a young singer from Rugby School who was the triumphant choirgirl in the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year competition.

Ischia Gooda beat young singers from around the country after winning through two rigorous preliminary rounds to become one of the eight boy and girl finalists.

The 14-year-old, who joined Rugby School as a Music Scholar last year, was announced as the girl winner in a special programme broadcast on Radio 2.

Ischia’s vocal quality, technical skill and performance impressed the panel of judges, which included world renowned soprano and Head of Vocal Studies and Opera at Royal Northern College of Music Professor Lynne Dawson, organist Simon Lole, and musician and comedian Vikki Stone – who also hails from Rugby.

Ischia said: “I chose to perform Gounod’s Ave Maria and the hymn Be Thou My Vision. They are beautiful pieces and I felt they demonstrate good vocal range.

“I have taken part in local music festivals in recent years, but nothing quite prepared me for the scale of a national competition.

“I feel so lucky, but over the moon – the whole experience was amazing.”

Ischia, who is a member of Rugby School’s many choirs, has been coached by singing teacher and soprano Philippa Hyde, and the School’s Director of Music, Richard Tanner.

A delighted Richard said Ischia has a wonderful, natural talent and is a pleasure to teach.

He said: “It was a privilege to be in the BBC Philharmonic Studio in Salford to watch Ischia triumph as BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2017.

“She charmed the audience, and the judges, not only with her exquisite musicianship but also by her ability to communicate in such a charismatic and charming manner through her singing and in her interview with presenter Josie D’Arby.

“It was good to hear Ischia speak so enthusiastically about her experiences as a Music Scholar here, particularly the opportunity that she had to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York earlier this year.”

Philippa added: “Ischia is a highly motivated and engaging singer, and this award is a testament to the work she puts in to her singing and her commitment to her choir.

“Her innate musicianship and dedication makes her a pleasure to work with.”

Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year, now in its 31st year, celebrates young talent singing for worship in churches, chapels, cathedrals and beyond.

Ischia will now have the opportunity to take part in a range of BBC radio and television programmes and work with top musicians.

Past winners have gone on to sign recording contracts, appear in Royal Opera House productions and West End musicals, and sing with prestigious choirs and classical cross-over groups.

Ischia will be singing in the Rugby School Visitors’ Carol Service on December 13 at 8pm.

Visit to hear the full competition, including Ischia’s performance and her duet with boy winner Raphael Bellamy Plaice.

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