FOUR years ago she was sitting in their seats, dreaming of taking her talent to a higher level.
On Tuesday, former Priestley College student Erin Alexander returned to impart words of wisdom gathered since starting her BMus (Hons) in Classical Vocal Performance at the University of Chichester.
Working with the current Performing Arts cohort Erin shared her tips for successful auditions and even gave a performance of The Girl in 14G which enthralled the audience.
“I was nervous holding my first masterclass because I know the standards Priestley expects from its students, and it seems only five minutes since I was here doing my own studies,” said Erin.
During her masterclass she critiqued the performances of several students and gave them all advice on how to bring out the best in their voices.
There was also a chance for them to ask questions about everything from tips for auditions to what to do with your hands while singing.
Erin left Priestley College in 2012 with distinction stars in BTEC Performing Arts as well as a B in her Music A-Level.
The 22-year-old soprano is now in her final year of study for a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance under the tuition of Mr Ian Baar.
During her return to college she told students how studying Performing Arts at Priestley had prepared her for success.
“The fact I have training in dance and acting has really helped me to stand out,” she said. “The training has helped my posture and stage presence so much.”
Erin discovered her talent for singing aged 15 while she was at Bridgewater High.
Until then she had thought singing was something ‘everybody could do’ and hadn’t realised how exceptional she was.
Once she did, there was no looking back.
“It was like a light had been switched on,” she said. “Finally I was interesting and had found something that I excelled in.”
Erin’s future in music is looking bright; since winning the prestigious Funtington Music Robert Headley Music Award and the Tosti Song Competition, she has chosen to study a Master of Music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for her Postgraduate studies, which will begin in September.
Priestley College plans to help Erin with her costs through its charity – the Priestley Education and Training Trust – which was set up to help current and former students continue their education.
Opera is Erin’s passion, and she has relished the opportunity to play the roles of ‘Fiordiligi’ in Cosi Fan Tutte at the National Opera Studio, ‘Susanna’ in The Marriage of Figaro at the Chichester Festival Theatre, ‘Micaela’ in Carmen and ‘2nd Lady’ in Die Zauberflote for the University of Chichester.
She also took part in the chorus of Beethoven’s Fidelio and Verdi’s Aida for Dorset Opera and in the past two years has toured Switzerland, Austria, Guernsey, Budapest and Italy, where she sang in The Vatican.
Sarah Graham, head of Performing Arts and Media at Priestley College, said: “The masterclass was an incredible opportunity for our students to learn from Erin not only because of her talent and expertise, but because she is proof of what can be achieved with dedication and hard work.”
For more details about Erin go to www.erin-alexander.com