I began singing for a fairly unconventional reason. My sister, Jodie, was born in the year 2000 with Down's Syndrome and three holes in her heart. I was 5 at the time, and didn't know what any of that meant.
To me, she was just my perfect little sister.
I soon learned that Jodie took a little longer to learn how to do things, and needed some additional support. I began to teach Jodie to talk through singing. We would sit in front of the mirror and she would copy my mouth positions. Jodie's speech was so advanced for her age and her specialist therapists could not believe her progress and ability, which has all been put down to the time we spent singing together.
We knew that Jodie would need a heart operation, and her operation was due in March 2005. At the time, the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where Jodie was to have her operation, were raising money for the Oxford Children's Hospital campaign. I decided, with the support of my parents, to create an album of my singing to sell and raise funds and awareness for the campaign. The album, Little Ray of Light, was released in 2004, when I was 9 years old. The solo classical charity album raised £27,000 for the Oxford Children's Hospital, selling all 5,000 copies in 5 weeks and became well known in the Oxfordshire area.
The album led on to so many exciting opportunities at such a young age, including live solo performances on GMTV, ITV Central News, Channel 5 News and BBC South Today, and press interviews on BBC Radio 2 and local radio stations.
I loved being able to combine my passion for singing and performing with raising much needed funds and awareness for a charity that meant a lot to my family and sister.
Aged 10, I decided to record a second album. This album was to raise funds for the Downs Syndrome Association, and was scheduled to be recorded in April 2005, a month after Jodie's operation. Jodie's operation went ahead, and nothing could have prepared my family for hearing that Jodie had not survived the operation. Eventually, we decided to carry on with the second album as a tribute to Jodie, calling it Songs For My Sister and including all of her favourite songs, with a special track of Jodie and I singing together to finish the album. The album was sold nationwide, it reached no. 2 in the UK Classical charts, and raised over £100,000 for the Downs Syndrome Association.
With the album came so many performing opportunities, including two sell-out shows of the Zoë Mace & Stagecoach Charity Spectacular at The New Theatre, Oxford, being invited as a guest singer with The Royal Marines Orchestra in Portsmouth Cathedral, and invited back for the following year, being the guest soloist for the September 11 Memorial Garden for the 9/ll Remembrance Service, London, in 2006, and so many more.
I recorded my third album aged 12, Once Upon a Time, before focusing on my studies and pursuing my musical interests at university, studying Music at King's College London in 2013, where I trained operatically at the Royal Academy of Music alongside my degree studies. I performed as part of King's all-female a cappella group, The Rolling Tones, during my time at university, which significantly improved my musical ear and confidence.
I went on to study a Masters at RADA in Text and Performance, developing my performing interests into acting, scriptwriting, directing, producing and musical production.
Since completing my Masters in 2017, I have frequently sang as a soloist around various UK locations in classical genres, and more casually in jazz and blues in smaller venues. In October 2017, I won a competition to sing with Celtic Woman as part of their 'Voices of Angels' tour, singing 'The Prayer' as a solo at The London Palladium.
I am now pursuing a career as a soprano specialising in classical and operatic song, whilst enjoying performing folk, jazz and easy listening. I teach singing lessons and acting lessons complement my performing, and love the sense of achievement of seeing my students achieve their musical and performative goals.
At the heart of all that I do is my passion for singing with a purpose to educate and raise awareness, stemming from my incredibly close bond with my sister, which will always be the reason I perform.