Leah singing at the Proms



A LOCAL choir singer will display her talents at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the annual Proms.

Leah Quinn from Irvinestown will join musicians from across the world as part of the eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually in London since 1895.

Leah recently graduated from the University of Ulster, Magee campus, Derry, with a Bachelor of Music with honours and has achieved a teaching diploma in the piano and grade 8 in singing. She has been part of the university choir and chamber choir for three years.

“With the choir I have had the opportunity to sing in various places all over Ireland and Northern Ireland,” she explained.

“Last year as part of the Derry City of Culture, the choir was asked to sing in Stormont Parliament Building along with a chamber choir from the University of Aberdeen.  This choir is directed by the famous composer Paul Mealor who shot to fame in 2011 when he was asked to compose the music for the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate. This brought great excitement to our choir, to be working alongside such an accomplished figure in the world of classical music.

Since then the two choirs have remained in close contact and due to this we were invited to join the University of Aberdeen choir to sing together in the Edinburgh Parliament buildings recently there in June.

“It was there that Paul Mealor told our choir that his choir had been asked to sing at the BBC proms in the royal Albert hall, London and that he had 9 spaces left. He auditioned each member of the University of Ulster choir and 9 of us were selected from that.”

Leah is no stranger to the Royal Albert Hall, indeed she also sang at the Proms last year, a memory that will stay with her a lifetime.

“I sang at the BBC proms last year with a choir from Derry and had an amazing experience and I’m so thrilled and grateful that I have been given the opportunity to go back and sing again.”

Leah leaves on Friday for a week of intensive rehearsals in Aberdeen with Paul Mealor’s choir, followed by half a week of more rehearsals in Birmingham with other choirs and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. From there she will head to London to perform on stage at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday August 21. The choir are singing Benjamin Britten’s War Reqiuem, a piece that lasts approximately one hour and 25 minutes.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and achievement to say that you have performed in the Royal Albert Hall, so for me, as a musician, it means so much that I have been selected to go. I’m so excited.”

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