Leslie Norman is quiet and reserved, except when she gets on a stage to sing in her powerful soprano voice.
“I love to perform,” she told The Compass April 10 after the third and final grand concert of the 44th Carbonear Kiwanis regional music festival.
This soft-spoken 16-year-old from Carbonear has joined a select group of performers to earn the senior Rose Bowl at this event, a feat her parents, Darren and Cindy Norman, are thrilled about.
“She practiced hard,” Cindy explained.
“It’s been busy leading up to it,” Darren said. “But it’s all worth it.”
The award came as a surprise to the family. It wasn’t because Leslie isn’t a great performer, but because she is not as experienced as some of the other competitors.
“She just started professionally training four years ago,” Cindy said.
Leslie is coached by Calvin Powell, but began vocal training in Clarenville. She moved to Carbonear just under two years ago.
As a clergy family — Darren is the pastor at the Pentecostal Church in Carbonear — the Normans move quite a bit. But that hasn’t prevented Leslie from working hard and taking part in local competitions.
Leslie is a member of the Carbonear Collegiate school choir, she plays piano, trains once a week with her singing coach, enjoys public speaking and plays the soprano saxophone in the school’s band.
Even though she is involved in so much, Leslie admits she’s a bit bashful when it comes to public events.
“I’m not the type of person who likes to be in the spotlight,” she said. “But I do like performing.”
Many may be surprised with this Level II student’s ambition.
“I love French,” Leslie said. “I would like to become a French teacher.”
But she still enjoys music, and hopes she can pursue it along with French when she graduates next year.
As for her parents, they are her biggest supporters.
“We just want her to be all she can be,” Cindy said. “She’s the joy of our lives. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does.”
Leslie isn’t sure what’s in store for her next with music, but as for her future career, she has been accepted into a five-week French program in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec for this summer. She hasn’t accepted yet.
“She’s an achiever,” Darren explained.
Although her goals are not concrete with music, Leslie will continue her vocal training because it is a passion, especially now that she has received recognition for her abilities.
“I love to sing,” she said. “Just to get up, have fun and do my best. I wasn’t anticipating (winning the Rose Bowl). I didn’t know I could do it.”