From education to employment

Singer from Nottingham College takes to the stage

A seventeen-year-old Nottingham College student has earned her place to perform live at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall this December, after wowing judges at the annual Nottingham Music Service Sing City competition.

Kensey Willow is studying a Level 3 Music Performance course, and dreams of becoming a professional classical artist.

Being a winner at Sing City means she’ll gain valuable industry experience, singing in front of up to 2500 people at the music charity’s annual Christmas in the City concert on Wed 12 December.

Nottingham Music Service is a registered charity committed to providing life-changing music programmes for young people. Sing City is their annual competition for singers aged 11-19 who attend Nottingham City secondary schools, academies and colleges.

Judges for this year’s competition included Notts-based singer Sarah Knight and award-winning MOBO artist Lincoln Jean-Marie.

A great springboard

Kensey will join two fellow winners in becoming part of the festive show, and she’s really looking forward to the experience. She credits College staff and her mum for giving her the encouragement she needed to apply.

Kensey said: “My tutor let me know about Sing City, and my mum was like ‘You should do it!’.”

She chose to sing Windmills of Your Mind by Dusty Springfield in the first round, and in the final she also performed You’re My World by Cilla Black.

The final was held at a packed out concert at The Venue, Nottingham College Clarendon campus in November.

Kensey described what it was like to wait for the final results. She said: “You just want it over and done with! When they called my name I was a bit shocked, and I was really excited. It’s not every day that you get to sing at the Royal Concert Hall.

“My course has definitely helped me prepare for a career and performing on different stages. For example, we got to do a bunch of school gigs which made me more confident in my performance. I actually feel really confident about the performance in December and I hope that it goes well.”

IMG 2742aCreditNottinghamMusicHubsmall

Andy Scoffin, Music Performance Lecturer at Nottingham College, said: “Kensey moved to the UK a couple of years ago from the USA, having never studied in the UK system before.

“After a Level 2 course with us she’s moved up to Level 3 to prepare for higher education and a career. She’s worked really hard and we’re so proud of what she’s achieved in her time with us so far.”

A future in performance

Kensey plans to go into opera as a career, and is auditioning for world-renowned music conservatoires in London this year, including the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall and the Royal College of Music.

A limited amount of tickets are still available for the Christmas in the City concert at the Royal Concert Hall, and you can find out more information at the Nottingham Music Hub website.

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