Students of Burton’s VocAL Intuition tutors performed a showcase of their work in a celebration concert at the town’s Tower Brewery on Saturday (February 11).
VocAL Intuition was established by Anne Leatherland and provides students of all ages with opportunities to study classical, musical theatre and popular music vocals. A strong emphasis is placed on safe and healthy singing techniques.
Anne has personally trained and mentored Rachel Shaw and Heather Gallagher who are now both VocAL Intuition teachers with dozens of pupils between them – many of whom were singing in public for the first time at Saturday’s concert.
The beautiful setting of the Tower Brewery enhanced the evenings’ entertainment as strings of fairy lights, bunting and giant paper lanterns created the feeling of a party night.
A sold-out audience of family and friends enjoyed a total of 43 songs covering a variety of musical genres. The evening also marked the return to a local stage of two performers who have enjoyed professional success after VocAL Intuition coaching.
The evening began with a 27-strong group of students performing Wings, by pop band Little Mix. The lyrics of the song include the lines: “Mama told me not to waste my life. She said spread your wings my little butterfly”. How apt this was as the evening continued with a number of performances by very young singers taking their first brave steps on to a stage. It was lovely to see the respect, encouragement and kindness they received from more experienced singers taking part in the concert. There was also a warm reception from the audience for everyone who stepped up to the microphone.
Songs in Act One included musical theatre favourites such as Castle on A Cloud from Les Miserables, Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray and pop classics such as Michael Jackson’s Ben and Art Garfunkel’s Bright Eyes.
Act One ended with an energetic performance of Naughty, from Matilda, by Rachel’s pupil Emily-May Stephenson who recently completed a six month run in the West End playing the title role in the hit show.
Act Two included some less well-known musical theatre gems including I Wanna Go Home, from Big; I’m Number One from Muppets Most Wanted and Proud of Your Boy from Aladdin. A rendition of Audition (Fools Who Dream) from the hit film of the moment La La Land, brought the song choices right up to date.
As the evening drew to a close, special guest Kirby Frost took to the stage to sing two numbers, Adele’s All I Ask and Kirby’s own debut single Head Vs Heart, which charted in America. Kirby reached the finals of Open Mic UK, was a contestant on the 2016 X Factor and will be supporting former X Factor winner Sam Bailey on her forthcoming tour.
The evening ended with all the students returning to the stage to perform Abba’s Thank You For the Music, which got the audience swaying their arms in the air. It was a fitting finale to a fabulous evening.