Andrew hits the right notes to win title

Andrew McAllister
Andrew McAllister

A TALENTED young tenor hit the right notes to win a competition.

Hartlepool opera singer Andrew McAllister wowed judges when he took part in the contest at the University of Huddersfield – where he is an undergraduate – and was crowned Kirklees Young Musician of the Year.

The win gave the 21-year-old the chance to perform at the famous Mrs Sunderland Music Festival, held in Huddersfield Town Hall, where he sang at least one of the songs from his winning performance.

Andrew, of Riverston Close, Naisberry Park, in Hartlepool, also scooped a trophy and a £1,000 prize in the contest, in which he chose to sing music by composers Handel, Schumann and Rossini.

The student told the Hartlepool Mail that despite his family not being particularly musical, he has been singing since childhood.

He said: “When I was about 16 somebody said you’re quite good, you should consider getting lessons. So I just took it from there. I was extremely honoured to have received such a prestigious award.”

Andrew, who attended High Tunstall College of Science and then English Martyrs Sixth Form College, chose the music department of the University of Huddersfield for his degree studies and musical training, where his principal vocal coach has been singer Yvonne Seymour.

And during his time at the university he has been offered a wide variety of performance opportunities, mainly singing, but also performances with piano and trumpet which he also plays.

He is also a regular organist at Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield.

Andrew is a final year music student and is predicted a first class honours degree.

, says he is uncertain as to whether his career will take him in the direction of the opera stage, the concert hall or the recital room – or all three, as it depends on how his voice develops over the next few years.

He said: “A singer’s voice is still developing during their early 20s, and although at the moment mine is high tenor and is particularly suited for certain areas of repertoire – such as earlier music – my vocal characteristics might change.”

Following his graduation, Andrew is hoping to get a teaching qualification before he undergoes more vocal training.

“A lot of specialist conservatories don’t really want you until you’re in mid-20s and until your voice has settled,” he said.

In the meantime he chooses songs from a wide range of composers including Italian composer Monteverdi to Benjamin Britten, an English composer, conductor and pianist.

He added: “It has got to be something that sits well on my voice and it has got to be a song that I can really get my teeth into, and discover the emotions beneath it. That is why the words are very important to me.”