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X Factor star: My debt to Kathleen Ferrier
4:56pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Kathleen Ferrier: 1912-1953
FORMER X Factor runner-up Rhydian Roberts has revealed that winning a prestigious award named after Kathleen Ferrier set him on the road to stardom.
Rhydian, who came second to Leon Jackson in the top-rated TV talent show in 2007, was presented with the Kathleen Bursary in 2004.
“I am often asked what my greatest achievement has been so far,” said the flamboyant Welsh singer who has had hit albums and gone on to star in the West End.
“I always say that it was winning the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary. It was at that point I realised I was on the same playing field as the best young singers in the country and that being a professional singer was not out of the question.
“I went into the competition with very low expectations, I was so surprised to just make the final.
“I didn’t have a conventional route into singing as I went to Birningham University to study drama but the head of vocal studies heard me and offered me a scholarship, so I sort of fell into it. As a result I really didn’t think I was good enough.
“But I can remember being on the stage in Blackburn and it was the first time where it felt as though someone else was singing for me.
“That’s what you are trying to achieve as a singer, when everything is just so effortless that it all falls into place. It gave me the confidence to go on.”
The bursary is organised by the Kathleen Ferrier Society with the winning student receiving £3,000 to help them with their academic studies.
Further awards of £1,500 and £750 are also awarded after a series of auditions and then the grand final.
“For all singing students there is a tremendous amount of prestige just to get through the auditions,” said Rhydian.
“I was just so honoured to get to perform in the final. Even now winning the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary remains the high point of my career.”
The 2012 bursary award will be held on Sunday, October 28 at King George’s Hall.