Schoolgirl soprano releases CD for children’s hospice

A 12-year-old award winning soprano from Co Galway is launching a CD at the end of the month to raise funds for Ireland’s only children’s hospice.

Aimee Banks who lives in Moycullen will launch My Classical Spirit with the accompaniment of Ronan De Burca on November 21. It will raise funds for the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice in Dublin and will cost €5.

Aimee, who is a twin and is a first year student at Colaiste na Coiribe, recently received a High Achievers Award from The Royal Irish Academy of Music. She was selected to perform at its regional concert and awards ceremony at NUI Galway on Sunday last.

The awards were established to recognise outstanding students of this long standing examination system which is held throughout the country. More than 43,000 music and drama students are eligible to compete for the awards annually. This was the first time Aimee took part in this competition.

She also walked away with three cups as well as gold medals at the prestigious Feis Ceoil 2014 which was held in Dublin and Sligo in April. She had the honour of performing for the Papal Nuncio, His Excellency Charles Brown, and to a packed atrium at the Galway Clinic’s 10th anniversary celebrations in June.

Aimee, who previously lived in Donegal with her family - who are from Dublin originally - moved to Galway three and a half years ago. Apart from singing her other hobbies include playing the violin and sport. She has a twin sister Anna and an eight-year-old brother Ross. They are all involved in musical productions in Galway.

She hopes her CD will raise funds to provide additional beds at the Laura Lynn hospice. It has only eight beds currently. She has been invited to perform at the charity’s Christmas ceremony in Dublin November 30.

The young soprano first sang publicly at the age of six at a Sunday Mass in Donegal. Her rendition of “In the Arms of an Angel” was very well received.

Aimee joined the theatre school Stagecoach Galway, under the direction of John Lucey, when she moved to Galway. She was given the opportunity to perform with other students from Galway at its 25th anniversary Cats at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in 2012. She began voice training last year under the direction of Michel Durham-Brandt.

Aimee says she always sets high standards for herself and her dream is to be the next Maria Callas.

Aimee Banks’ CD will be available later this month from the Galway Clinic, Supervalu in Moycullen and Colaiste na Coiribe.

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