On the 20th of February, I was given the chance to sing a solo in the Perth Concert Hall for the Requiem Love and Loss performance with the West Coast Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.
These music ensembles were founded by conductor Samuel Parry and are both extremely talented and made up of volunteers. Samuel Parry talked about loss and grief and how music can help us heal and love again.
When we arrived at the Concert Hall, we had our own reserved parking and backstage I had my own dressing room with my own bathroom and a mirror with lights around it. My family and I relaxed and ate dinner there before the show. It was really cool.
During the concert, I sang in one of the 4 pieces that were performed. The piece I sang in is called the Materna Requiem. It was written for an orchestra, a choir and four soloists. I sang the solo part for a treble (a young boy soprano). There were 3 other soloists in the Materna Requiem: the tenor Perry Joyce, the soprano Katja Webb and the young soprano Phoebe Tait.
I walked on stage first out of all the soloists and I was super nervous. The soloists stood at the front of the stage next to the conductor. I sang in movements 1, 5 and 8. In movement 1, I was so nervous and when I had to stand up I was doubting myself, but when my part arrived I suddenly calmed down and I was really happy with how I sang. I was so relieved when I finished my part in movement 1, especially because I had to sing some of it completely by myself without any orchestra or choir accompaniment. I had about 15 minutes until the next time I had to sing so I calmed down and listened to the beautiful music that was coming from behind me. Then it was time for movement 5. I was a lot less nervous but I was still a little anxious. I sang a lot during this movement and it was by far the hardest part that night for me. The reason this movement was so hard was because I had to sing very low at the start and also extremely high (high C). As the movement moved along I sang better and better. Soon it was time for the choir’s, orchestra’s and my favourite movement, movement 8. This movement is a combination of every movement and it is super fast and exciting. I sang the best I had sung all night and I was very satisfied when I sat down and was finished.
Overall, the experience I had during the rehearsals and the performance was fantastic and if I could do this again I definitely would. I met lots of really nice people that were so kind and happy and I can’t even describe the feeling I felt when I walked back on stage for the final applause. This was definitely one of the best things I have ever done and I am happy I said yes.
- William Atkins-Walters, Yr 6