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Newtownards Soprano sings Arts Council’s praises

Wednesday 7th December 2005 at 1pm 0 Comments

Newtownards Soprano Rebekah Coffey is one of three young talents who have received an award through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Young Artist Platform Scheme. The award, offered in collaboration with the BBC, is for talented singers and musicians who are ready to enter the professional world as artists. The scheme’s financial reward of £5,000 is enabling Rebekah to study with master teachers and the BBC is offering her two professional broadcast performances.

Rebekah studied music at Queen’s University and latterly specialized in vocal studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Since completing her studies she has been working as a freelance performer throughout the UK and Ireland.

She spoke of her delight at winning the award. “On receiving the news that I would be a recipient of the Young Artist Platform Scheme I was overwhelmed and extremely excited. This was the opportunity that I had been working towards since leaving the Royal Northern College of Music.

I have been using the funding to have regular lessons with singing teacher Colin Iveson and vocal coach Rosemary Walton. My voice is really improving as a result, which in turn is opening up more performance opportunities for me.

Now concentrating on my professional development, I have setup a website to promote my career and make information relating to my performances easily accessible.

I believe that receiving such a prestigious award helps me stand out amongst the hundreds of talented young sopranos with whom I compete for roles. I am really excited that my Belfast Festival recital will be broadcast on Radio Ulster and cannot wait until my Ulster Orchestra Debut on the 16 th June 2006. These are opportunities that I only dreamed about before. They will certainly establish my career on a higher performance platform.”

Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Roisín McDonough commented, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support Northern Ireland’s young artists who are starting out on their professional careers. We will follow Rebekah’s career with interest.”

Other recipients of the Arts Council’s Young Artist Platform award were pianist Cathal Breslin and cellist, Jonathan Byers. You can read more about these award winners in the Arts Council’s ARTICLE magazine.

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