Opera star Lesley Garrett has recently become Patron of the David Clover Festival of Singing.
The South Yorkshire opera star was invited to get involved in the festival by Vivien Pike, the singing teacher who first took her under her wing, as a young singer.
In addition to her patronage, Lesley is also sponsoring the festival’s £1,000 opera prize, in the Singers’ Platform section.
Ms Pike said: “I am the vocal coach for the Sheffield Oratorio Chorus and was Lesley’s first singing teacher. I am still working as a singing teacher in Sheffield and was thrilled when Lesley agreed to get involved in the David Clover Festival of Singing, which has been held in Sheffield for the past 35 years. The festival is held in memory of David Clover, who was made senior music advisor for the city of Sheffield before his death, in 1979.
“Lesley was immediately enthusiastic when I approached her to get involved – one of her abiding memories from her schooldays is winning the Rose Bowl at Cleethorpes Festival when she was only 18. She is generously supporting the Opera Class prize and has agreed to come and present her prize to the winner at the Finals Evening of this section of the competition, on January 29 at Kenwood Hall.”
The festival is open to all singers aged nine and over, and is one of only two festivals in the UK which is for singers only.
A spokesman for the festival added: “David strongly maintained, as others have, that everybody has a musical instrument which can be developed - the voice - and much of his work was devoted to fostering the use of young voices, whether as soloists or choralists.”
Visit www.davidclover-festivalofsinging.org.uk for details.