Andrew Baker is not surprised by the success of Celia Pavey in TV talent quest The Voice.
While the Mitchell Conservatorium of Music’s Lachlan director only moved to Forbes after Celia had finished her studies at the campus, he was familiar with the talented songstress, having visited Forbes before his appointment to teach at violin workshops.
Mr Baker said he recognised Celia’s face when she first appeared on The Voice but had not heard her sing before then.
“I’m not surprised she has become a favourite and has done so well,” he said this week.
“I’m not surprised she has got there having grown up in a community like Forbes. It’s uncommon, but not unusual.
“But knowing the opportunities that are available in Forbes for music students, it’s not surprising she’s done well,” he said.
Mr Baker said Celia took violin and guitar lessons through the Mitchell Conservatorium, learning from Doug Richards and violinists Susannah Turner and Martin Lee.
“Celia actually reached quite a high grade in violin over a number of years, but obviously her singing and guitar playing has taken off,” he said.
“I do remember meeting her when I came out here for workshops and Celia came across as being very keen and certainly talented in music.
“She seemed to me, a very engaged participant in music,” he said.
Mr Baker said while few students will match Celia Pavey’s recent success, learning music can be very rewarding and enriching.
“People can get a lot from music, but also can give a lot to their community, even if it is not their career, just by being engaged in it.”
Mr Baker said Celia’s talent was obvious, but it was also clear she had a supportive and nurturing family and music tutors.
“Having talent is one thing, but talent without that right environment is rarely going to work.
“Having access to good teachers, good instruments and the right resources is important if that talent is to be fostered.”
Mr Baker said he didn’t think Celia would need to win Monday’s grand final to continue her career in music.
“We wish her all the best, and regardless of the result next week, she’s going to have a wonderful career.
“I’m certainly going to buy her CD,” he said.