SINGING and acting coach Sonia Callin says musical theatre isn’t just a hobby, it’s part of her life.
That enthusiasm has rubbed off on to one of her pupils, who has nominated Sonia as teacher of the year in the Flybe Pride in Mann awards.
12-year-old Lois Mooney, of Peel, is one of Sonia’s students at the Stage One theatre school, which holds sessions in Onchan, Douglas and Colby.
Lois said: ‘She has been my singing teacher for four years, she’s helped me get a part in every show I’ve ever auditioned for. That’s about 15 shows! She’s an inspiration to many. She helped Sam Barks to where she is today, and I hope to follow in Sam’s footsteps with her help.’
Lois added: ‘She is so supportive, and she knows what she is talking about.’
Lois credits Sonia with helping her land the lead role in Annie, which opens at the Gaiety Theatre in October, and helping her win the Year 6 girls’ solo category in the Guild in April last year.
Queen Elizabeth II High School student Lois says she looks up to Sam Barks, who blazed a similar path in her youth, all the way to Hollywood where she is filming to star as Eponine in the big screen adaptation of Les Miserables.
Sonia, of Tromode, was happy to learn of the nomination from her student: ‘Lois has always been very switched on and has a natural ability. And everyone is so proud of Sam. Seeing these young people grow is very rewarding.’
Sonia has been involved in musical theatre since school, inspired by performances at Ballakermeen to join the Douglas Choral Union aged 16.
‘It was very different to what it is nowadays, the standard has come on so much,’ she said.
‘But it was still the same ethos, people committed to the hobby.
‘More kids are involved now, they’re trying it a lot more. There’s more talent, more shows and more opportunities and it’s great.’
From appearing on stage, Sonia went on to direct shows and work on choreography.
‘I like the production side, as you get involved with more of it, the cast and the crew,’ she said.
She became involved in teaching with Stage One through a friend, founder Jacqui Hawkes.
‘I had done a few things with kids, and I wanted to pass things on,’ she explained ‘It’s not just about kids who can sing or dance. Musical theatre is fun, and being part of it helps gives young people confidence and the feeling of being part of a team.’
Nominations for this year’s Pride in Mann awards have now closed.
• We’ll be explaining how you can vote in Pride in Mann soon.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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