WHEN TV choirmaster Gareth Malone comes to Portsmouth as part of his first ever tour, it will be particularly sweet for one of the choir that is performing with him.
Charlotte Roberts, from Gosport, was hand-picked at auditions last spring as one of the 16-strong choir of young adults that recorded the Voices album with Gareth, and is now joining him on the accompanying nationwide tour.
The former Bay House school pupil put her plans to join an arts college on hold when she found out she had gained a highly coveted place as part of Gareth’s project.
Gareth rose to fame when he starred in The Choir on BBC2 in 2007, which along with its numerous sequels has helped inspire people across the country.
Charlotte, 20, said: ‘It has gone really well. Everything has been so enjoyable and I’ve been meeting a lot of new people.’
The choir, along with Gareth and his pianist have been playing to packed houses during the critically-acclaimed tour.
‘Everyone gets on really well,’ she added.
‘We all sing so differently, but it works well together.’
Charlotte, who has been singing since she was nine, has already won several prizes for her vocal talents. During the 2012 Gosport Music Festival, the then St Vincent College student won six categories in the adult vocal competition – to add to the three she won the year before.
She has been a member of the Hampshire Children’s Choir and Hampshire County Youth Choir.
And she can expect plenty of local support on the night.
‘My singing teacher is coming along and so are my family,’ she said. ‘Everyone’s really excited, and they’re really proud.’
And Gareth was full of praise for Charlotte. He told The News: ‘She’s been brilliant, I think it was her dad who was listening to Chris Evans on Radio 2 when I spoke to him about it, and I said I’m looking for singers. He encouraged her to audition. She came in and was very unassuming and she had this fantastic voice.
‘She’s gone from strength to strength, especially on the tour, she’s got a little solo that’s really fantastic, a really nice moment.
‘It’s probably one of the best moments of the show, and she’s still only just turned 20.’
n See The Guide on Friday for the Big Interview with Gareth Malone.