Music: The 'Bel Canto' That Is Sally-Ann Wild


Bede's pupil Sally-Ann Wild was born into a musical family.

Since joining Bede's she has gone from enjoying singing to taking part in an original composition at Glyndebourne. Towards the end of the Autumn term, she took some time out of her busy rehearsal schedule to talk about her life and art.

"My mum was an opera singer," says Sally-Ann, who lives in Eastbourne, "and my dad played the organ. I've been immersed in music since I was very little."

"I've been at Bede's since year 6. Before then I was at a very quiet girls' school. As soon as I arrived at Bede's it was… well, it seemed like there was so much going on!"

"What's amazing about Bede's is that you can pursue your passions. Teachers move mountains. So suddenly, every spare minute I could sing, other people could paint, play sport. I started singing in the choir at every break time."

"When I was little, my mum used to give singing lessons to people, and I would sometimes sing in them, but had always been a solo singer. Once I joined Bede's, I found myself suddenly slotted in to the middle of a chord. It was incredible!"

"I absolutely loved being part of a big muscle, harmonising in a room full of people. There's nothing as amazing to me as when I'm working with a big team to make great sound."

"At the Senior School, I adore singing in all the choirs. Jazz, Chamber Choir, regular choir. The Bede's Music department is so, so good."

"Roy Hilton for example. He is… spiritually amazing. He boosts your confidence so much. You really want to impress him because he's such a talented musician."

"Singing at Glyndebourne happened in a really roundabout way. I was on a train, sat next to two women, and my mum texted me from across the carriage. She told me that the women were quite famous opera singers, so I just approached them and started talking."

"They were coming back from the Albert Hall, and I told them how I'd sung at Glyndebourne when I was eleven, in Hansel and Gretel, which went on a tour of the UK. They recommended joining Imago, this brand new community opera written by Orlando Gough."

"Imago is being debuted at Glyndebourne in March, so at the moment we're putting it together. I'm there, singing 8 part harmonies, and Orlando will sometimes come into rehearsals. It's so exciting!"

"I'm really into the music too. I've always loved opera. La Boheme, The Cunning Little Vixen, Pearl Fishes. Don't get me wrong, I'm into all sorts of music, but I feel extremely inspired at the moment."

"What's brilliant though is that for Imago we're working at such speed, and the people there are surprised that I can keep up. Things change in an instant, but I'm there, feeling ahead almost."

"When things like that happen, I realise I've been really well prepared."

"I only have Bede's to thank for that."