April, year 12, met with Mr Burton today to be commended for her wide range of achievements over her years at the school and some recent local awards for her work in the arts!
On the eve of Thursday, 23rd March, after being nominated by her singing teacher, the Cheltenham Arts Council held an awards ceremony in which they presented April with the Elizabeth Webster cup – a very prestigious award to receive – for her ‘outstanding contributions to the arts in Cheltenham’. The award was presented by the Mayor of Cheltenham and as a result of this incredible success, April has accepted an offer to be in the National Youth Training Choir.
“At age three I said to myself ‘I’m going to be on stage’.” April always loved music from a young age and even, she confesses, memorised every word from The Sound of Music by the age of four. Despite this, she started her musicianship quite late into her school life following a performance in Les Misérables at The Playhouse. She later took part in a concert at Cheltenham College where her singing teacher saw her talent in full motion and helped her to develop her singing voice further and crack her inner vibrato.
In addition to being awarded the Elizabeth Webster cup, she also made it to the regional finals of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition on Sunday, 2nd April which was held at Telford. April had gone through three previous rounds and won each to make it to the regional finals, which involved performing 2 contrasting pieces (a maximum 10 minute recital) which included an opera piece from Handel – as part of the finals she was pitted against 6 other vocalists who were aged 18+ from across the south west. Unfortunately she didn’t make it through to the national finals but is still keeping her spirits up and will readily compete for the nationals again next year!
Clearly, April has been extremely busy but it hasn’t stopped there. Aside from all of her own work, she takes part in the school choir each week, as well as a separate choir every Saturday, AND she teachers musical theatre to children aged 5 to 8 at The Playhouse once a week!
Mr Burton commended April for all of her tremendous efforts and successes she has made, commenting “Really, I ought to thank you as well – you give so much to this school it’s almost untrue. I was absolutely delighted to hear from your parents about your award and frankly it couldn’t of happened to a nicer student. You give so much passion to music and the arts and it will definitely be a sad day when you leave the school – you’ve left a legacy over your time here as a student.”
Asking what she’ll be doing in the future, April says the dream will be to go to music school and work in the performing arts in London. “I wouldn’t of been able to do any of this without Bournside. The difference in me as a person from year 7 to now is huge and I have gained so much confidence over the years thanks to all the support from the school and especially the music department – the opportunities I’ve received have really helped.”