Eyes of the world on talented Ribble Valley singer chosen to sing National Anthem at opening of Commonwealth Games
Mezzo soprano Samantha Oxborough, who went to Sabden Primary School and Ribblesdale High School, will share the stage before an audience of 35,000 people with chart-topping band Duran Duran at the grand opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
Samantha, who graduated in vocal studies from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2017, before completing a postgraduate qualification in the same subject, has been asked to appear on BBC's The One Show tonight and talk about the event which is expected to be screened around the world to an estimated one billion people.
Samantha (28) will sing alongside the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Mass Choir, which is a 700 strong choir made up of different choirs from across the city. But the thought of performing on a world stage doesn’t worry Samantha.
She said: “The thought of myself performing on a world stage on such a huge scale hasn’t quite settled in yet. But I’m not going to think about the billions of people watching, I am going to focus on my performance."
Samantha is no stranger to success though. During her time at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, she performed in several operas and has taken part in a wide range of competitions too.
She said: “One of my proudest moments was performing at the Royal Albert Hall, where I sang in front of 5,000 people. But performing at the opening ceremony will be the biggest moment of my career so far, I’m very proud to be involved.”
And after the grand opening ceremony Samantha will remain at the games.. working as a security officer!
She gained her SIA security licence during lockdown and also retrained as a carer for Midland Mencap, where she worked with children with disabilities.
When she’s not preparing to sing the National Anthem, Samantha teaches singing lessons at two schools in Coventry, and was also based at the National Opera Studios in London from 2019 until the start of the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
Samantha is a former member of Pendle Youth Choir and Burnley Alliance Band. Her former music teacher is David Wilkinson and her music studies were supported by Pendle Young Musicians Bursary and she was an annual competitor at Colne, Burnley and Skipton festivals.