Callum on song as he joins choir

After taking up singing during piano lessons Callum O'Reilly (10) from Duns has suceeded in auditions to join the National Youth Choir of Scotland
After taking up singing during piano lessons Callum O'Reilly (10) from Duns has suceeded in auditions to join the National Youth Choir of Scotland

He was one of the stars of Longridge’s barnstorming production of ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and now Callum O’Reilly has sung himself into the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Duns youngster Callum and the rest of the ‘Joseph’ cast received a standing ovation from a packed audience after their first performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical last month with many saying it was the best show to date from the school’s junior department.

Ten year old Callum got audiences all shook up in an Elvis style jumpsuit as the Pharaoh and he said the confidence boost he got from doing ‘Joseph’ and the reaction he got helped him not to feel too shaken when it came to standing in front of the youth choir panel.

“I’d done other plays with school before ‘Joseph’ but I’d never really had a big part.

“Being the Pharaoh was so much fun and the response we got when we all took our bows was amazing. It gave me a feeling of importance and made me want to do more.

“It was doing ‘Joseph’ that really inspired me to go for the youth choir and I’m glad I did.”

Callum journeyed to Edinburgh for his big audition in front of the youth choir’s artistic director Christopher Bell and he admitted he wasn’t too sure how well he’d done.

“I had no idea what the audition would be like.

“I had prepared traditional song ‘The Crocodile’ to sing and I thought I did it OK but wasn’t sure if I was good enough to get in.

“After I finished singing Christopher gave me a few tips and that was it.

It was a month before Callum received the fantastic news that he was one of just 20 singers from the whole of Scotland to make it into the choir and he said trying to put it to the back of his mind was quite difficult.

“For the first two weeks after my audition I didn’t really think about anything else; I just wanted to find out.

“I eventually managed to put it to the back of my mind when the letter arrived.

“I couldn’t believe it as I never expected to get in.”

Callum’s pre-audition nerves have now morphed into pure excitement as he gears up for his first taste of youth choir life.

He will travel to Loretto School during the Easter holidays for five days of intense rehearsals with his fellow choir members before giving a concert on the sixth day.

And Callum also has a television appearance to look forward to with the choir due to sing during a charity broadcast over the coming year.

Callum is also a keen pianist and it was his teacher Margaret Rowland who convinced him to audition for the youth choir.

Like him, she is absolutely thrilled he made it in.

“Callum has a very special voice,” Margaret commented.

“But what he also has is great musicality and the ability to really communicate the words and meanings of songs.

“He can sing many genres of music from classical, to musical theatre and pop.

“He is an exceptionally talented performer,-‘Joseph’ was proof of that- but he isn’t conceited or boastful at all.

“I’m sure he’ll match up to the standard of the other boys in the choir.

“I’ve had a few students make it into the choir and I love going to their concerts when I get the chance to so hopefully I’ll get to see Callum”.