Day 13 of the Essential Advent Calendar finds Rick Wakeman, who has collaborated with 15 year old soprano Emmie Beckitt, on a Christmas single, ‘Welcome A Star’.
‘Welcome A Star’ is the first single from Emmie, who met Rick at a fundraiser for Kids ‘n’ Cancer. He was so impressed with her crystal clear voice and effortless range that he decided to record a song with her from his oratorio, ‘The New Gospels’, which tells the real story of Christmas.
Emmie Beckitt has been singing classical repertoire since the age of ten, and is currently studying for her Grade 8 singing exam. She also takes part in the Senior School Chamber Choir at St Augustine’s, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Additionally she’s a member of her school orchestra and jazz band, playing tenor saxophone, violin, and piano. At 13 she supported Katherine Jenkins in concert, and a year received a standing ovation at Roy Wood’s sell-out show at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. She recently sang ‘The Hymn,, composed by Sir Tim Rice and Rick Wakeman, with an orchestra and choir, at The Sage Gateshead, as part of the Tim Rice Concert Series.
Rick Wakeman should need no introduction. A Fellow of the Royal College of Music, Professor of the London College of Music, former YES keyboard player, TV presenter (Watchdog, Grumpy Old Men and more recently, as a host on Vintage TV), Rick started his career as a much sought after session musician in the late 60s, playing on more than 2000 records from a wide variety of artists, including Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and Black Sabbath. He found fame in his own right as a member of Strawbs and then YES, the latter with whom (and as a solo artist) he has sold over 50 million albums. Rick Wakeman still performs around the world every year, with his concerts ranging from from his extremely popular one-man show to extravaganzas featuring symphony orchestras and choirs.
As both Emmie and Rick are patrons of the Chesterfield charity Kids’n’ Cancer, a percentage of the profits from the sale of ‘Welcome A Star’ will be donated to that organisation.