James Hodgkinson Biography 2020
Hi I’m James and I’m only thirteen. I think I’ve managed to pack quite a lot into a short time though. Music is my passion but I do enjoy sailing, football and antique collecting too.
I live in Suffolk with Mum and Dad though we’ve all spent a lot of time in Canterbury during the last 5 years! We’ve all had to work hard to allow me to follow my dream.
Mum and Dad tell me I could sing in tune before I was 2. I’ve seen the videos so I know they are right.
When I was 5 The Head at my first school realised I had something different, and perhaps special.
I had singing lessons aged 5 and at 6 I knew I wanted to sing more and more.
We used to go on holiday each year to Portugal, and from the age of 5 until last year I sang in the theatre and have played the piano and sung in the bar.
When I was 6 I auditioned for the Canterbury Cathedral Choir and won a scholarship starting when I was 8. I had to board which was not so good, but during the next 5 years I gained a great classical choral education and attended a school with a strong music tradition where, as well as academic study, I had lessons on the piano and cello and also music theory. There were many opportunities to perform outside my choristership.
As a chorister I sang 6 days a week in the Cathedral, all the Christmas and Easter services and numerous concerts. I had the opportunity to perform many difficult and exposed solos. We sang in the Vatican, and toured America for 2 weeks singing 7 concerts and 2 church services. We covered thousands of miles from Los Angeles to Summit New Jersey.
Having left Canterbury I need to find new opportunities to sing. At least, as I’m no longer a chorister, I don’t have to get up at 6.20am!!!
I’ve been a member of the local community choir singing in churches and care homes whenever I can. I’ve sung solos at weddings and I sang outside our house for Clap for Carers.
I recently appeared on ITV’s Voice Kids singing a classical version of You’ll Never Walk Alone and succeeded in getting through to the Battles.
I’m also reserve semi-finalist on the BBC’s Songs of Praise Young Chorister which takes place very soon.
I’ve just recorded a demo CD of 5 songs and thank Pat at Gemini Studios for all his help–all very exciting.
In August this year I appeared on Scala Radio as Angellica Bell’s Young Artist of the Week.
Currently I’m back at home in Suffolk and I’m starting a new school.
I want to sing for my career, maybe opera. I’ve had this target for some time and this has spurred me on to develop my musicianship. I got ABRSM grade 5 Theory at the age of 10 and Grade 8 singing with distinction when I was 12.
My next target is an ARSM Singing Performance Diploma by Christmas and a Grade 7 piano qualification soon after.
I love performing and look for, and welcome, every opportunity to sing.
I hope I achieve my dream. It won’t be for the want of trying!