While many are aware of our work in supporting instrumentalists and musicians of different genres, not everyone is aware that we also support young singers in a variety of ways. So, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our current singers and recent graduates to show how our different Programmes have helped them and impacted their musical journeys.
Singers of all ages, styles and genres - be it jazz, pop, rock, classical, musical theatre or anything else - are eligible to apply for our Junior and Development Programmes (applications open now!).
We also run a separate programme in partnership with the Voces8 Foundation - Voces8 Future Talent -which supports 8 young singers focussed on classical/choral singing, age 13-18 each year.
As part of Voces8 Future Talent, singers receive mentoring, career and general musical development advice alongside practical music training. The programme culminates in a fully funded place at the VOCES8 International Festival and Summer School. Click below to listen to the Voces8 Future Talent Scholars perform Locus Iste together with the Voces8 Scholars.
Meanwhile, on our Junior and Development Programmes, instrumentalists and singers both receive financial assistance towards their musical costs (£500 per year on the Junior Programme, and at least £1,000 per year on the Development Programme), as well as one-to-one mentoring and other opportunities to develop their skills, gain performance experience and meet other young musicians.
Asia Mercedes-Fields and Myla Carmen are singers who both graduated from Future Talent's Development Programme in recent years and are now at the beginnings of their own careers in music.
Asia, pictured above, is a jazz and R&B multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter. During her time with Future Talent, we provided Asia with financial support to buy musical instruments and pay for singing lessons, helping her to improve her singing ability and overall musicianship, create and perform better music, and secure a place at a music conservatoire.
Asia is now in the process of recording an EP, gigging and recording music with other jazz musicians. She explains that, "The support I received from Future Talent made me proactive, motivated, and inspired, and allowed me to meet other talented musicians."
Myla is a singer/songwriter, musician and actor, currently launching her career in musical theatre. They said: "Thanks to Future Talent, I was able to get the music equipment I needed and continue with my singing lessons, which helped me to prepare for a career in music...."
"The highlight for me was how the charity helped me to make contacts in the music world. I have been able to start a career in musical theatre, being a lead in shows and have just finished my first West End job with the cast of The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe."
Sebastian Carrington is one of our current Voces8 Future Talent Scholars. Sebastian joined Future Talent in 2015, aged 9, as a pianist. Now channeling their musical focus on classical singing, Sebastian decided to make the switch the the Voces8 Programme. Now 17, Sebastian is currently making their operatic debut in the role of Mercedes in Carmen, produced by the Stanley Opera. A music scholar at Rugby School and a student at the Junior Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
They said: “It is a great privilege and delight to have been cast in this role. Not only does this realise a dream I’ve had since the age of six, that being to perform opera onstage, but also, as a non-binary person, this is a monumental occasion for both my personal journey and LGBTQIA+ representation in classical music. I hope that my casting in this role is inspiring to fellow young non-binary and trans singers, and that it encourages other opera companies to follow suit.”
We are extremely proud to have been able to support Sebastian, Myla and Asia and so many other young singers in their musical journeys. If you know a young person with exceptional vocal talent, please do encourage them to apply for Future Talent's support so that we can make a difference in their musical journey and help them achieve their full potential!
Applications for our Junior and Development Programmes are currently open until 2 May 2023. Applications for Voces8 Future Talent will reopen in the Winter.At Future Talent, we are dedicated to providing support and guidance to gifted young musicians from low-income backgrounds.