Young soprano living a Disney dream

By Jessica McAllen

A Disney Channel cameraman films Tayla Alexander at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna yesterday. Photo / Natalie Slade
A Disney Channel cameraman films Tayla Alexander at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna yesterday. Photo / Natalie Slade

Twelve-year-old Tayla Alexander is poised to follow in the footsteps of Kiwi singing stars Hayley Westenra and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa - but first she has a Disney performance to nail.

Like most girls her age, the North Shore soprano loves Disney and used to dream about being on the same channel as her favourite artists, Selena Gomez and Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus.

Yesterday, that dream was realised when Tayla spent the day at the Bruce Mason Centre filming with a Disney crew for a series called This is Who I am, which features viewers with extraordinary talents.

Tayla said she was startled when a Disney representative contacted her.

"I've seen all the aspiring, up-and-coming New Zealand and Australian artists and I've always thought I would love for that to be me."

Tayla yesterday performed spine-chilling renditions of Ave Maria and Danny Boy while crew members adorned the stage with roses.

Her father, Dwayne, said Tayla was very driven and had a better work ethic than most adults.

"She does this weekly calendar where she plans her days out, all her after-school activities and music practice, and she does this without any help."

His daughter first started singing at age 4. She has since performed in front of 200,000 people at Christmas in the Park and has been invited to sing at a children's hospital in Canada next year.

"She likes the buzz," said Mr Alexander. "She's self-conscious, as all 12-year-olds are, but I think this has given her an identity and really helped these in-between years."

Her Facebook page, Tayla's Music, has nearly 6000 likes and she is in touch with fans from as far away as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 31 Aug 2014 21:31:59 Processing Time: 562ms