Young Musicians Programme: Jasmine's Story
Jasmine Hope Colgan, 14, a singer in the Young Musicians Programme
Jasmine and her parents travel to Sage Gateshead every weekend from Haworth in West Yorkshire.
How old were you when you started to sing?
I started having singing lessons at the age of nine. I danced at first and was performing as a sunbeam at the Alhambra Theatre panto in Bradford when I was told by someone I could really sing.
Why did you choose voice as your instrument?
I just feel in love with music and especially classical. My first tutor James was a tenor singer and taught me about choral music. That was the first time ever I had listened or sung anything like this.
*What prompted you to audition for the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at Sage Gateshead? *
I was recommended the YMP by Justin Doyle who was my Choir Master at Opera North in Leeds. I wanted to improve on my musicianship, to learn more about theory and vocal performance. Sage Gateshead’s CAT seemed to offer everything I required in one day.
How has it impacted on your school life/other subjects?
Sage Gateshead is a dream come true. I feel I am around people who love music as much as I do. The atmosphere is lovely and the teachers are inspirational. I’ve made lots of friends and my confidence has grown. Music at my school is now a BTEC and not a GCSE anymore. I was so disappointed when this changed as I am now studying for my exams. I feel Sage Gateshead is giving me everything I can no longer get at school.
I couldn’t find anywhere else that offered this syllabus and the variety is outstanding.
Describe your experience so far/how it makes you feel to be part of CAT?
Well getting up at six am on a Sunday morning shows how much I love going to Sage Gateshead! I normally sleep in the car as it’s a two hour journey. I have already performed in a duet on stage with a new friend, had masterclasses and learnt so much about how my voice is changing and developing. I am working hard on my grade 5 theory and even squeeze in piano lessons. I’ve also joined Quay Voices which is a fantastic choir that practice every other week.
Where would you like to go with your music?
I definitely would like to get into a good music university. Of course I would love to perform on stage or become a music teacher myself. But my passion is to become an Opera singer.
What is your proudest moment during your time with CAT?
That’s a difficult one. There are a few but I guess getting through the audition. I was very nervous. I had to sing two songs in front of three teachers. Waiting to find out was nerve-wracking. You could hear some of the other teenagers warming up their voices and they sounded amazing. I cried my eyes out when I got the news that I had got in. It is changing my life.
From Jasmine’s mum Jenny:
Listening to Jasmine sing and perform is a real pleasure for both of us. It’s almost become a full time job taking her to lessons rehearsals. Neither one of us play or have had any musical lessons and we have kind of fallen into this. Jasmine has been called the Billy Elliot of singing because she hasn’t come from a musical background. However now we have been to five Operas and many performances. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves as it’s opened up a whole new world.
From Jasmine’s dad Garry:
I was at Jasmines singing lesson when she was learning a Folk song for one of her exam pieces. I remembered hearing it from school and decided to sing the song to help Jasmine with the melody. Her singing tutor decided that I had a good voice and without telling me put me into an audition at the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. I went along as I felt I needed to experience what it was like for Jasmine to audition and I didn’t want to upset her teacher! Upon arrival I had to sing in front of 30 people unaccompanied because I couldn’t read music and had never sung with a pianist. They asked me what I was? They meant tenor, bass etc. I said I was a man! We still all laugh at this. But now I sing with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and have worked up to a principal role.