Ronan Parke’s singing teacher on nurturing his talent

The singing teacher of a Poringland schoolboy tipped for stardom has told how she was bowled over by his talent when he first came to her three years ago.

Ronan Parke, 12, won a legion of fans and became an overnight internet sensation after his stunning rendition of Feeling Good on popular ITV television programme Britain's Got Talent.

The Framingham Earl High School pupil credited his singing teacher Kay Webber with giving him the confidence to apply for the show. Miss Webber is no stranger to live television performances herself, as she performed under the name of Rich Gypsy in the Song for Europe competition in 1982, which was held to pick the UK's song for the Eurovision contest.

Miss Webber, who lives in Blofield Heath, said she first came across Ronan when she was holding a singing workshop for about 20 children at the Garage, in Norwich. Miss Webber, who grew up in Wales with a mother who was a trained opera singer, said his personality shone through, but it was not until she took him on for solo lessons and first heard him sing individually that she realised she had a star on her hands.

She said: 'When Ronan first came for a lesson and opened his mouth and that sound came out I thought: 'aah, we have something special here'.

'He had a huge voice even at that age, but he needed to know how to control it and not overuse it.

'I think it's very important for singers to really get across the story of what they are singing, and to understand the words and Ronan is very mature in this understanding of how to sing.

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'And it's not just the voice, it's the whole package. He's just a lovely boy and it's the way he presents himself.'

Miss Webber, who still performs in the Norwich area with her partner and guitarist Colin Johnson under the name CJ and Kay, said she and Ronan had been working hard on perfecting songs across a wide repertoire.

Despite hot competition being unveiled in recent weeks on the show, Ronan is still the favourite to win with most bookmakers.

More than two million people have watched his audition video on YouTube. Although the youngster was put through to the next round by judges, that does not automatically guarantee him a place in the live stages of the show.

Do you have a showbiz story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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