TWO Salisbury students are "thrilled" to be joining opera professionals as part of the Celebrate Voice line-up.

The music festival returned to Salisbury Thursday night, and Rosie Woodhouse, Year 12 at Bishop Wordsworth’s, and Gianpiero Greatorex, Year 11 at St Joseph’s, will be taking to the stage as part of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury this evening (Saturday, October 23) and Saturday 30.

Both singers, who have been performing with Celebrate Voice as part of the children’s chorus since 2015, are thrilled at the opportunity to graduate and join the professional chorus.

In the lead up to the comic opera's opening night, Rosie described Celebrate Voice as “an uplifting and inspiring experience”, adding: “It gives opportunities for people of all ages to take part.”

“It’s like one big family that nurtures talent from all parts of our small community,” Gianpiero added.

Festival director Lynsey Docherty praised the pair’s “commitment and drive”.

She said: "I am inspired by these young people who have taken opportunities and flourished because of their commitment and drive.

"Rosie and Gianpiero are not only talented, but focussed and they will bring a wonderful youthful vibrancy to the show.

"They are perfect examples of what the arts can do for young people, and I have every faith they will keep up with the pros."

Rosie is already part of the National Youth Training Choir and sings solo and in choirs at school.

She aspires to go on to achieve a choral scholarship at Oxford University and is hoping to become a professional opera singer.

Gianpiero sings with the Wiltshire Youth Choir, the Salisbury Cathedral Youth Choir and is a head student at St. Josephs.

He hopes to further progress his musical ability at A-Level and also aspires to become a professional singer.

Talking about Rosie's success, Lewis Edney, the head of music at Bishop Wordsworth’s said: “This is such an amazing opportunity for Rosie to be part of a professional production.

“We are incredibly proud of her being selected to participate in this project and know it is only the beginning of her musical career.”

And Mr R Blakey, head of music at St Joseph’s, added: “I am so proud of Gianpiero and everything he has accomplished so far and I wish him luck in the professional chorus."

Click here to read more about Celebrate Voice. The festival runs until October 30 with performances being held in the Guildhall. 

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