Classical singer Andrew Irwin is finding it strange being at home during the pandemic.
He’s so used to travelling the world performing in concerts that it has taken him time to settle back into good old home life.
But he still has to ‘keep himself in shape’ to resume normal activities as a performing artist when this health crisis passes.
“Being a classical singer is like being an athlete you have to keep in training every day and keep your fitness up,” he said.
“For classical singing that means doing my exercises. Half an hour working on my technique every day and trying to learn pieces that I’ve had on my list for years now. So that I’m ahead of everyone else and ready to go the second this finishes,” he added.
Andrew is also a singing teacher and during the pandemic he’s had the chance to impart his knowledge and experience on other young singers around the county.
“I am taking on as many students now from Fermanagh as I can. I will have to limit them. For now I have been offering up a free trial lesson followed by lessons for anyone who is interested in keeping it on.
“And so far the reaction has been good. I’ve got five weekly students and others who want to drop in for hints and tips,” added the tenor.
“Actually I’ve been wonderfully surprised. Quite a few girls have shown a great interest in singing and a number of adult males, but I’ll teach anyone,” he said.
The love for singing began at Derrygonnelly Primary School where he was taught by Gillian Rutherford.
“She inspired a lot of people to sing. They had quite a large choir and entered competitions. It was fairly soon after the first one it was quite noticeable that I wanted to go on to do something on stage. I was always a bit of a show off,” he admitted.
It was finding the right that he wanted to take and through Portora Royal School he tried out various types of bands including pop and rock.
“Gillian took me on as a singing student and from there I learned to sing classically with her.
Around 15 I realised it was classical that I wanted to do. So I applied for a school call Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and the rest is history” said Andrew.
The Fermanagh tenor admitted it has been wonderful and scary being able to live the freelance life but adds he has quickly learned the prickly side to it during the coronavirus pandemic.
“If the world decides to deal you this sort of hand you don’t come off to great being a freelancer.
But generally I have been very blessed with what I have been able to see during my touring and work,” he added.
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Posted: 11:55 am June 16, 2020