BSO: Walking in the Air soloists announced


Following the resounding success of the BSO’s live screenings of The Snowman last year, the BSO is delighted to announce the winning soloists who will be performing Walking in the Air with the Orchestra.

The BSO’s live screenings of The Snowman will be taking place on Sunday 16 December, with an afternoon and evening performance. Due to the extremely high level of singers, the decision was made to feature Walking in the Air in the BSO’s Last Night of the Christmas Proms concerts, allowing more rising talents to have the opportunity to sing with a world-class orchestra.

This exciting opportunity was delivered by Rising Talent, BSO Participate’s strand of work to nurture and support outstanding and emerging young talent. Auditions were open to all singers between the ages of 9 and 13, and we had over 70 applications from hopeful singers from Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, Bath, Salisbury, Frome and Exeter.

All applicants were initially invited to a group audition in front of a panel of judges consisting of Lisa Tregale, Head of BSO Participate, and Anthony Brown, Head of Marketing. From these group auditions, 15 singers were shortlisted for a solo audition.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is delighted to welcome Leo Ahern, Sophie Anderson, Alex Bartle and Matilda Rose Hill to perform with them.

11 year old Leo Ahern, a pupil at Minehead Middle School, was selected for the afternoon performance of The Snowman at Lighthouse, Poole. Leo is passionate about drama and singing, being a member of both his school choir and Fusion Young Performers. He is currently rehearsing for the Fusion Choir’s concert version of Les Miserables, where he will be singing the part of Gavroche, as well as working towards his Grade 4 singing exam. When he’s not singing, Leo enjoys playing cricket and football.

13 year old Sophie Anderson, who goes to school in Hampshire, was selected for the evening performance of The Snowman at Lighthouse, Poole. Sophie has loved singing since she was a toddler and has attended music lessons for several years. She has taken part in many school events, including performing the leading role of Belle in a musical production of Beauty and the Beast. Sophie has also performed solo, duet and part of choir in many concerts, most recently she sang as part of a small group at an annual fundraising gala at Mansion House in London, in front of Lord Mayor of the City of London and over 300 guests. Sophie has a neuromuscular condition which means she is a wheelchair user, but she doesn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dreams.

13 year old Alex Bartle, a pupil at Exeter School, has been selected to perform Walking in the Air at the BSO’s Last Night of the Christmas Proms concerts in Exeter on Wednesday 19 December and Poole on Saturday 22 December. Alex started out in musical theatre with stage by stage, a local theatre school which were great for helping his confidence, where he performed in their production of Annie at the Northcott Theatre and Jack and the Beanstalk at the Corn Exchange. Alex sang with Exeter Cathedral Choir for three years, where he sang several solos, as well as singing with the English Touring Opera.

13 year old Matilda Rose Hill, a pupil at Hayesfield Girls School in Bath, has been selected to perform Walking in the Air at the BSO’s Last Night of the Christmas Proms concert in Portsmouth on Thursday 20 December. Matilda was a member of the Junior Choir at Bath Abbey for four years, during this time she had the opportunity to sing a duet on Christmas Day which was broadcast on television live from Bath Abbey. Matilda is a member of the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, and also competes in the Mid Somerset Festival every year.

All four singers demonstrated outstanding talent, and greatly impressed the judging panel.

Lisa Tregale, BSO Head of Participate, said: 

“We were extremely impressed by the wealth of talent from across the region; it goes to show that there are many young talented singers in the South and South West. This did mean that our decision in picking only four soloists was incredibly difficult. Our thanks go to everyone who attended the auditions; we hope that you found it a valuable experience. We are looking forward to working with Leo, Sophie, Alex and Matilda as they join the Orchestra this December.”


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