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Tahirah gives back to T&T

Singer performs tomorrow

By Verdel Bishop

Music is known to soothe the soul and around this time of year, traditional carols and other Christmas songs are usually the right antidote to boost the Christmas spirit.

Tomorrow, songstress Tahirah Osborne will soothe many hearts during her Christmas concert, at Christ Church in Cascade from 6 p.m. The concert is two-fold — Osborne wants to encourage the spirit of Christmas and at the same time give back to her country.

In 2009, Osborne received a national scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree with a specialty in Voice at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is home for the holidays and is preparing to stage a memorable concert which she has described as a gift to the nation. Osborne said her aim is to give those who attend the concert a feeling of joy and goodwill to last throughout the year. The Christmas recital will feature traditional Christmas songs along with some new ones. Osborne said she is excited to be back home for the holidays.

"I am happy to be home for this Christmas recital. It's my way of giving back; I will be doing many favourites relating to the birth of Christ and the joy of Christmas. It would be music and songs to make you feel good, especially around this time of year," Osborne said.

She said the opportunity to pursue music is a dream come true. Besides the relief of graduating with her Bachelor of Music degree next year, Osborne recently received good news — following auditions to pursue a Master of Arts in music at the Academy, she found out she was accepted with an entrance scholarship out of 1,600 applications. "I was given a national scholarship to pursue music which is a dream and I hope to graduate in June. But I'm also excited about the opportunity to pursue my Master of Arts in music which I recently received with entrance scholarship," Osborne said.

Osborne has a history of music talent in her family. Her grandmother, Marion Osborne, facilitated a music school in St James and there are quite a few pianists on her father's side of the family. "I was always surrounded by music in my family. My brothers and sisters are also well grounded in music," she said.

The concert will also feature well known musicians and vocalists including Sheldon Morales, Natalia Dopwell and John Thomas. Early in her singing career Osborne had been a soloist and member of the Marionettes Chorale and Youth Chorale. In 2005 she won the Scholarship Competition of Talented Teens (SCOTT). Osborne regularly competed in the Trinidad and Tobago Biennial Music Festival, in which she received numerous awards, including the ScotiaBank Challenge Trophy for the Most Promising Performer in the 2008. Osborne has performed at state banquets in honour of the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the President of Ghana and the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2009 she received a national scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Music at the Royal Academy of Music.

In her first year at the Royal Academy Osborne was awarded the Michael Head Prize in the English Song Competition. She received awards for outstanding vocal and academic achievement including Arthur Burcher Memorial Prize and Douglas Samuel and Birdie Matthews Award (first year, 2009 - 2010) and Esther Hulbert Award (third year, 2011 - 2012).

In 2010 Osborne placed first in the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Competition for Young Singers. From September 2012 Osborne has been a chorister at the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas Series. Throughout her studies at the Academy she has participated in master classes with Dame Felicity Lott, the late Robert Tear, Ann Murray, Florian Boesch, Wolfgang Holzmair and Barbara Bonney. Tahirah has been a soloist at concerts with the Harrow Symphony Orchestra and the Amersham Festival of Music with the Amersham Festival Singers and Orchestra. She has performed at the Tuesday Series at the Royal Academy of Music and Lunchtime Concert Series at St Bride's Church, St Anne's Lutheran Church and Dartford Parish Church.

For tickets call 678-9613 683-4993 732-4513.

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