Derry soprano Margaret’s dream to come true this weekend

Margaret Keys

Margaret Keys

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A Derry singer’s dreams will come true this weekend as she performs on the stage of the Ulster Hall.

Margaret Keys is due to perform at a charity concert at the historic venue in aid of Age NI.

Cecil Brownlee, Everett Browne and Mervyn White from Portadown Male Voice Choir, internationally renowned Northern Irish Soprano Margaret Keys and Age NI Fundraising Officer Rosalind Cole show their support for the charity's Gala Concert of Male Voice Choirs at the Ulster Hall.

Cecil Brownlee, Everett Browne and Mervyn White from Portadown Male Voice Choir, internationally renowned Northern Irish Soprano Margaret Keys and Age NI Fundraising Officer Rosalind Cole show their support for the charity's Gala Concert of Male Voice Choirs at the Ulster Hall.

The former teacher was approached by the charity to be a special guest at the event, which will feature the talents of eight male choirs from across Northern Ireland.

She told the ‘Journal’: “I am really looking forward to it. I have always dreamed of performing in the Ulster Hall because it is such a great venue and it willl be nice to be able to raise money for a local charity.”

The last year has been something of a whirlwind for the soprano after a very successful and sell-out tour with classical Brit winners The Fron Male Voice Choir.

The tour took her across the UK and to America, where she took New York by storm and performed in Times Square.

Recently, Margaret has been enjoying some time at home and is looking forward to playing in front of home audiences in the near future.

“I have been all over the place in the last six months and I have enjoyed every minute of it, but it can be tiring. At the minute I am spending some time at home catching up with family and friends and I’m even planning a family break next month.”

Margaret will also be taking to the stage in Derry at the end of March, at a special BBC classical crossover concert to be held in St Columb’s Cathedral.

She will appear along with trumpeter Niall O’Sullivan, the Codetta Choir and Ruth McGinley.

“I am really looking forward to that performance.

“It has been so long since I have played to a home audience. It will also be nice to work along with Niall because he is very, very good. Playing at home is always nice because it gives friends and family the opportunity to come along.”

Margaret is also set to perform at the last night of the Proms later on this year and hopes she will be able to announce further tour dates in Northern Ireland very soon.

The soprano, who signed with Universal Records in 2009 and released her first album “Legato” a short time later, said she has no immediate plans to record another album.

“After being in New Zealand and America, I want to work more in the UK and Ireland.

“I have been focusing on live performances, because I want to establish myself as a live artist.

“While I hope to do some more recording, live work is what its all about for me at the moment.

“There is a lot I would like to do in the next year. I would liked to work with bigger acts and at bigger events and I believe that is where my future lies.”

She added: “I thought I would still be sitting in a classroom teaching pupils, not singing with some of the best performers out there. I am enjoying every minute of it and the chance I took has all worked out for me.”

Tickets for the BBC Sounds Classic Crossover event at St Columb’s Cathedral are available on the BBC Website.