Buxton RAF pilot to return to his singing career

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He sang in the Kinder choir for nearly ten years but gave it up to join the RAF, now one man from Fairfield wants to return to music.

Tony Owens, 29, has his sights set on being a singing teacher in the next five years and is going to take exams at Easter.

He said: “I have always loved singing and now I want to help and inspire the next generation of singers.

“I will miss being in the military, but singing is what makes me feel happy.”

At the start of Tony’s musical career he was turned down by his school choir but ended up performing with the Kinder Choir .

Joyce Ellis, who was and still is the musical director for the choir, took the attitude that everyone can sing and gave Tony a place.

After leaving college and working at both All Sports and Game, Tony decided he needed more of a career and joined the RAF in September 2008.

“Both my grandad and my brother had been in the air force and knew it would be a good path for me.”

His work in the RAF has taken him to Afghanistan and Italy.

“It was too boring there, too flat and I missed the hills of Buxton.”

For the corporal, spending his down time in the barracks led him to realise he missed singing. After two lessons he was asked if he considered teaching.

Tony, who says his love of music comes from his parents’ eclectic taste, has just completed his Grade 8 in musical theatre from the London College of Music.

He is aiming to complete a diploma from the same college by Easter and to gain qualifications in classical performance.

Tony said: “This is the dream, but I’m going to stay in the RAF for another five years to build up funds.

“I will miss the camaraderie of the military and when you are on tour those boys are your family, but I’m ready to come home now.”

Tony is also auditioning for the New Lyric Operatic Company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The company previously won best ensemble at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival held in Buxton.

Everyone has a singing talent

Tony said singing is like sport, if your practice you will get better.

“You have to have the passion and practise regularly,” he said.

“There is only so much a singing teacher can do for a pupil - they have to have the motivation to study on their own.”

According to him there is no such thing as a person who can’t sing.

“Everyone can sing,” he said.

“People may have had bad experiences at school and it puts them off in later life, but there is no such thing as tone deaf, only fear that needs to be overcome.”

He said belting out notes like Adele is not as hard work as it looks.

“People sing because they enjoy it, so when they have to sing the powerful notes it does get easier.”

Breathing and training are important to maintain a successful singing voice.

“The vocal chords are an instrument after all and people just need to harness the power and know how to use it.”