Beginning the series profiling some of this year’s University Music Scholars: this week, soprano Victoria Newell.
I have had a love of all music, with a particular passion for singing, from a very early age. Before starting my Drama and Theatre Studies BA Hons at Kent University in September 2012, I was involved in a wide genre of singing, from formal school choirs to musical theatre and jazz. I was lucky to attend a school with progressive drama and music departments and was privileged to be given main roles in Seussical, The Witches of Eastwick, Evita, Chicago and Spamalot. Outside school, I took part in local musical theatre productions, including the title role in Annie, which developed my confidence as a soloist at a young age.
As a soprano I have sung a variety of solos in different choir groups, including 1st soprano in a joint school/adult performance of Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir. One of the highlights of my singing career was accompanying the school jazz band at various functions – the pinnacle of this was singing ‘Fever’ at the Ronnie Scot’s Jazz Night, where the prestigious Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club performed alongside the school Jazz Band.
I am a songwriter and, in order to accompany myself, a self-taught guitarist with a growing repertoire of songs. During my recent gap year working in a school in Auckland, New Zealand I supported both the drama and the music departments in a variety of ways, and gained a great deal from this experience. The school even asked me to take part in their performance of Cats as no one else could reach the top notes in the Jellicle song!
Since being at Kent Uni I have greatly enjoyed being a member of the Chamber Choir and the Chorus. The highlight so far has been the wonderful Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral at the end of last term. The atmosphere was extremely special and I felt very privileged to be part of such an amazing choral group. Now we are working hard towards the Chamber Choir’s Crypt Concert next month, which promises to be equally fantastic. I have really been enjoying the new music building and all the facilities it offers and I look forward to enjoying and contributing to the department in my years to come.
Read the other profiles in the series here.