Forest Hill boy sings his way to gold

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER THE NEXT TENOR? Andrew Ma, 9, of Forest Hill earned his first Royal Conservatory of Music gold medal last year, and is seeking another in May when he performs his Grade 3 voice exam.

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER
THE NEXT TENOR? Andrew Ma, 9, of Forest Hill earned his first Royal Conservatory of Music gold medal last year, and is seeking another in May when he performs his Grade 3 voice exam.

Andrew Ma looks to repeat 2014 performance in May vocal exam

The heat is on for alto Andrew Ma.

Coming off winning his first gold medal for earning the top mark in Ontario and Quebec on his Grade 1 voice exam last year, the 9-year-old Forest Hill singer is looking to skip a grade, and go for his Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 3 in May.

Regional medals are awarded annually to the conservatory’s top students who score 80 percent or higher on their practical and theory exams.

How he’ll prepare is simply by singing, something he’s been doing for the past three years.

“I have a lot of concerts,” he said in an interview, days before taking the stage at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre.

He opened that show with “Memory”, the famous song from the musical Cats. He prefers classical to top 40.

“It’s calm,” he said by way of explanation. “It’s not rock or country or pop. It’s a little bit in the classical period. The Renaissance.”

When Ma’s not learning how to stretch his vocal chords through lessons from his Royal Conservatory teacher Agnes Zsigovics, he’s singing with the Toronto Children’s Choir.

“It not only has singing but it has theory, which can provide excellence through singing, when you can find the time signature and treble clef,” he said.

Returning to the topic of examinations, the happy young man is all about singing, using his chords as his piano strings, and he admits the preparation for the voice exam is just as unique.

“It’s pretty different. You need good vocal chords to sing.”

As for the why he sings, he said it’s simple:

“I mostly like singing because you can feel the joy, and all that stuff.”

 

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Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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