The winner of The Stage Scholarship at Sylvia Young Theatre School 2018 is 11-year-old Taziva-Faye Katsande from Jersey in the Channel Islands. The award is worth in excess of £40,000 and will involve full-time tuition in all aspects of the performing arts at a school with an international reputation for excellence.
Understandably, Taziva-Faye is overjoyed at the decision, as it will help her to achieve her life-long ambition.“When I first heard about winning the scholarship, I was so overwhelmed,” she said.
“I felt so special that Sylvia Young wanted me to be a part of their school. I have been wanting to be a triple threat since I was about three years old. My parents told me that whenever they were singing at church, I’d run up to the front and start singing and dancing. In the future I’d love to do acting, singing and dancing but I’d like to do movies as well.”
Taziva-Faye is well on her way to reaching that goal and she is currently rehearsing for the West End production of Matilda the Musical, where she will play the role of Alice Pumpernickel.
Sylvia Young spoke highly of the talent on display at this year’s auditions.
“The competition was really high. We chose Taziva-Faye because she was an exceptional all-rounder with a very sensitive, appealing voice.”
‘My parents told me that whenever they were singing at church, I’d run up to the front and start singing and dancing’
Auditions consisted of a round of warm-ups and exercises. Taziva-Faye talked through her experience of the process: “For the first audition, they gave us a piece to perform with a partner on the day. I think this was so that they could see how we would interact with somebody we’d never met before. Then, following a singing warm-up, they put us into groups of three to see how we managed singing harmonies. For the dancing, following a warm-up, they taught us a jazz routine to perform.”
Taziva-Faye’s father, Langton Katsande, was quick to point out that performance doesn’t run in the family.
“It was a revelation to us. Our son was attending the West End Experience summer school in Jersey. We had a problem with childcare one half term and asked the chaperone if Taziva-Faye could attend. They agreed on the Monday but by the Wednesday they were asking if she was able to take part in their production of Annie at the Jersey Opera House,” he said.
The win is a huge deal for Taziva-Faye and her family, who are relocating to London.