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Katherine Jenkins
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Brought up in Neath, South Wales, by the time Katherine was seven her interest in pop music had been superseded by classical music. She started taking piano lessons and joined her local church choir. Over the next ten years she represented Wales on three occasions in the Choirgirl of the Year Competition, winning the BBC Radio 2 Welsh Choirgirl of the Year Competition twice and the BET Welsh Choirgirl of the Year. Between 1990 and 1996, Katherine was a loyal member of The Royal School of Church Music Cathedral Singers where she achieved her St Cecilia Award - their highest award, and was also a member of the National Youth Choir of Wales for three years.

After achieving nine A grade GCSE's, Katherine passed four A Levels including Welsh. Her music went from strength to strength and she achieved Grade 8 distinctions in both singing and piano. She was awarded the Pelenna Valley Male Voice Choir Scholarship for most promising young singer and won the 'Singer of the Year' prize at the Gorseinon

College Festival of Voice. She was only 17 when she won a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with Honours. At the R.A.M. she studied Italian, German, French and Russian, played Cherubino in Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro', Dorabella in 'Cosi fan Tutte' and Carmen in 'Carmen'. After she was voted The Face of Wales by the Welsh public she supplemented her grant by modelling. "My mum saw the competition in our local paper and she sent in two pictures for fun, and I got through to the final. I did quite a lot of make up and hair modelling. It was a way of earning money and supporting my studies but I knew it wasn't ever going to supplant music."

Six years ago Katherine was performing a Christmas concert with her college choir at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea. As she hit the high note in 'O Holy Night' there was an enormous bang. The audience ducked worried that they were being shot at. A true professional, Katherine just carried on singing, even as tiny shards of glass showered around her. Her voice had cracked one of the chandeliers above the stage. "I haven't done it since," she giggles," but I shall have to start practising at home to get the right frequency."

source: www.katherinejenkins.co.uk

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