04 Jul 2019

King’s Rochester pupil Laura West has successfully auditioned for the Royal College of Music Junior Department.

Laura, a Lower Sixth pupil at King’s Rochester will commence her studies in September, taking a two year Saturday class programme alongside her A level studies at School.

At the audition, Laura sang ‘Das Verlassene Mägdelein’ by Wolf and ‘L’ho Perduta’ by Mozart. Her first professional audition, Laura prepared for the opportunity extensively, researching the panel of judges which included Miranda Francis and Ross Graham, “I was so over prepared, I had everything and anything they could ask me ready in my head, and I knew the songs backwards”

The panel commented on her excellent musicianship, including diction, phrasing and communication, and offered her a place ‘on the spot’, which is a very rare occurrence. They questioned her about her ‘dream roles’ to which Laura was eloquently able to describe the roles of Mimi from La Boheme and Adele from Die Fledermaus and the requirements needed to perform such iconic characters.

She was so astounded by her successful audition she double and triple checked she had understood by calling the office and emailing them three times that afternoon.

Laura, 17, studies music at A Level and also plays the oboe, had a slight misfortune during the run up to her audition as the family piano developed a loose pedal. Luckily Director of Music, John Mountford and the King’s music department sprung in to action and offered Laura the use of St Ronan’s, the school music rooms, to practice for her audition. “I was panicking and winding up my family, who were relieved to get a few days peace as I moved rehearsing to St Ronan’s” 

The music department at King’s have been a massive help and support, they put on after School lessons for me to learn to site read music and have always been there for me during my free lessons to advice and help.

Laura became fascinated by Opera music after watching the school’s production of Dido and Aeneas in Rochester Cathedral in 2012, a show starring King’s alumni and professional Mezzo-Soprano, Tabitha Reynolds. Tabitha is Laura’s singing coach and is full of advice and praise for all Laura has achieved. Tabitha said “I was over the moon when I heard Laura’s good news. I was very proud of her, and all the hard work she had put in, a well-deserved success”.

Laura joined King’s Rochester Preparatory School in Year 4 and eagerly joined the school choir. She has been performing across the School ever since, from Open Mic Nights to the recent Baroque Concert held in Rochester Cathedral Crypt. “I have always been into singing, even before I started King’s, I would be singing around home and at relatives houses

Laura’s course runs for two years during which she will be involved with the college’s collaboration with the Royal Opera House and amongst her a level studies she will be developing, directing and performing in a version of Humperdinck and Wette’s Hansel and Gretel at King’s.

She is also currently rehearsing in preparation to audition for the Kath Topping Award with the Kent Choir Chamber in which she would be on the youngest entrants.

It is these experiences, Laura hopes will give her a strong foundation to build from at the Royal College of Music. In the future, Laura wishes to be an Opera and is keen to continue at the Royal College of Music


Photo: Laura West outside Royal College of Music after her successful audition