In this instalment of our Featured Alumni series, we catch up with Vocals graduate Yvonne Park!
Yvonne completed a Degree in Vocals in 2014. Since then, she has shared the stage with artists like Belinda Carlisle and Sonia, and has sung for Candi Staton, Pixie Lott, Omar, and many others. Now, she’s written and released her own music!
Hi Yvonne! Tell us a bit about your background, and why you wanted to work in the music industry?
I grew up singing in Church and then started studying music at secondary school. Music was always just a hobby until I got an A in GCSE Music and thought “I actually might be good at this lol” I then went on to BTEC where there were only 5 of us in the class so we all had to pick up an instrument and perform for each others assessments! It was hard but I loved it and it helped me develop not just as a singer but as musician. When I was 17 I had my first big gig, singing backing vocals for the contestants in a Gospel competition called “Time2Shine” It was crazy I had to learn almost 30 songs, I was clueless at the time and thought this is a bit much.. but really it was the best challenge that was preparing me for the future!
Tell us about what you’ve been involved with since leaving ACM?
Wow, since leaving ACM so many things have happened. Well during my final year while writing my dissertation, I was singing at the Let’s Rock the 80s festival for Belinda Carlisle and Sonia. It was such an intensive time juggling both Uni, work and my personal life, but keyboard tutor Brian Henry, who put me on the gig was literally like “Get it done!” and so I did. Best advice I could have gotten. I’ve also sung for Candi Staton, Oritse Williams (JLS), Marco Mengoni, Pixie Lott, Erica Campbell (Mary Mary) and Omar. I toured with Emeli Sandé in 2015 & currently working with Mabel.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My aspiration for the future is to release music, which I have started to do. My first single is out Friday 9th June called “Closure”. While I was at ACM there was a lot of opportunities for performing your own material. I can’t remember how many times I played at Fahrenheit 55 lol! I miss doing that so I’m pushing my solo career while I’m here in London and getting out and doing more gigs again.
How did your course prepare you for life in the music industry?
Studying the Vocal degree at ACM helped me so much. I learnt how to sight-read and sight-sing which is a great skill to have and can come in handy for last minute session gigs. The vocal technique module taught me how to work with singers, blend vocally, explore and get to know my voice and expand my range. Years later my voice has matured thanks to this and I still go for vocal lessons with some of the tutors (Chris Johnson) to gain some more knowledge. Group assessments taught me how to work with different types people and how to commute on stage. Most of the time the line up changes and you’re working with new people everyday even without rehearsals.
What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
I wanted to study at ACM because of the environment and facilities. It is a great place to network and be with likeminded people. It gave me the opportunity to work in different bands and to collaborate more. The facilities at ACM are amazing, there are so many practise rooms that you can lock yourself away for hours and work on your craft.
What was the best part about studying at ACM?
The best part of studying at ACM was definitely networking. On my first day, there was an open mic in the theatre and it was perfect for breaking the ice and getting to know people. The people I met that day are some of my close friends today. Networking with the tutors as well has also played an important role in my career, they all gave me constructive criticism in order to push me into becoming the musician I am today who they can now put forward for gigs.
If you’d like to be a student at ACM to kickstart your career in the music industry like Yvonne Park, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.