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INTERVI EW L INDA TOLCHARD


asked to sing solos and people would say I had a lovely voice but I just didn’t have the confidence to go out there again.”


After three years of retraining though, Linda decided to test herself once more and entered the Cheltenham Music Festival in a very strong class of over 50 singers. Surprising herself she not only won her class but also the evening finale which reignited her belief in singing for her as a career.


“I’m lucky in a way as because I had such a break my voice has been preserved. I haven’t strained or damaged it in anyway.”


Since her triumphant return to singing, Linda has produced three albums, including some self-penned songs, and has begun teaching, from children through to later age adults but her coaching sessions don’t just focus on pure singing.


“Music has helped me through some difficult times in my life and I know the importance of being able to express our emotions and I recognise the benefits of doing that through singing. Of course people come to me wanting to learn to sing but the sessions will give them so much more.


Such was her talent she was spotted at an early age by well-known singer and tutor Dorothy Armitage who took her under her wing and at just 15 years old she was offered a scholarship at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music.


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“Looking back it’s funny as I was a very shy child and not a willing performer,” she said. “My dad took me to all sorts of places, like old people’s home and charity events and I even got the chance to sing with the entire cast of Coronation Street at a big musical event when I was about 13.”


Linda did eventually take up her place at RNCM but only completed a year when she had to drop out for practical reasons but her singing education continued under the private tutelage of Dorothy Armitage.


At 20 though, the lure of life outside of singing proved too much and Linda stopped singing and then went on to get married and raise a family of three boys.


“I don’t regret that for a moment,” she says. “It was a conscious decision and I didn’t think I could do both.”


As her children grew up though, her thoughts turned to singing once more and she decided to retrain with well-known singer, countertenor Grayston Burgess.


Best described now as a soprano and classical crossover artist, as a child Linda was used to singing all sorts of pieces from show tunes and folk songs to more classical and secular pieces and today boasts a wide repertoire of genres.


“After such a long break I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to sing again. I was still in a few big choirs and occasionally I’d been


LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


“My vocal workout classes are built into the philosophy of the symbiotic relationship between breathing effectively and singing which in turn promotes physical and mental health.


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