Olivia to join NZ youth choir

23:36, Dec 12 2012
Olivia Sheat
Bella Voce: Marlborough Girls’ College 2012 head girl Olivia Sheat has been selected for the New Zealand Youth Choir

Making 20 trips to Wellington this year and racking up 2800 kilometres in the air, all for vocal lessons, has paid off for Marlborough Girls' College student Olivia Sheat with her being accepted into the New Zealand Youth Choir.

The 18-year-old has had a "full-on year" to say the least.

Besides being head girl she organised the school's circus-themed formal, competed in the National Young Performer Awards in Invercargill, was a soloist in the school's choir Bella Voce and visited South Africa as part of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir.

All this while studying for her final high school exams.

"There have been times when it has been stressful but everything came together."

Her trips to Wellington were for lessons from high-profile New Zealand opera singer and vocal coach Jenny Wollerman.


"People in the big cities have so many resources available to them. I just wanted to keep up with what other people around the country have access to."

Her audition for the New Zealand Youth Choir was held at a primary school in Christchurch in August where she vied with 70 other young people for a spot.

"I heard this girl warming up before me and I thought, ‘wow, this is intense'."

However, the judges were very informal and made her feel comfortable, she said.

Olivia sang an old Irish folk song Turn Ye To Me complete with Gallic lyrics. She was also tested on her sight reading and technical singing skills.

She got the call that she had been accepted last week.

"It was great to get the phone call. I was so happy because I knew it was hard to get in."

Her mission is to make it as a professional soprano opera singer, but she will have lots of competition as soprano singers are the most common.

"It is a long long road . . . I want to see how far I can go with it."

Olivia will study at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington next year.

The Marlborough Express