“I am overwhelmed at winning and really excited” - winner of Gorleston Makes Music

Dana Jordan, Karolina Reu and Salman Toheed, with mayor Mary Coleman and Rotary president John Shrimpton
Picture: Brain Ollington

Dana Jordan, Karolina Reu and Salman Toheed, with mayor Mary Coleman and Rotary president John Shrimpton Picture: Brain Ollington


Teenage classical crossover singer Karolina Reu sang her way to a victory when she won the Gorleston Makes Music final on Sunday.

The 19-year-old from Gorleston topped the judges’ votes – and got a rousing round of applause from the crowd who were also asked to vote on the six finalists with their hands.

Karolina, who performed a selection of opera songs, is off to Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge to study music in a few weeks.

She said: “I am overwhelmed at winning and really excited. Like all students heading to college I am nervous, but this is a real confidence boost.”

After her win – which earned her £250 sponsored by solicitors Norton Peskett – Karolina did an encore of Never Enough from The Greatest Showman.

Earlier this year the Lithuania-born student from Englands Lane, who went to Cliff Park Ormiston Academy and Access to Music in Norwich, performed on the In Betweeners’ Stage at the Latitude Festival.

She has been singing since she was five, trying classics, pop and show songs, but says opera is her favourite.

Second place went to 17-year-old guitarist Hannah Bavage from Dereham performing her own compositions. She won £100 donated by local builders M H King & Son.

Salman Toheed, a singer guitarist from Norwich was third, performing his own reflective work which mixes English, Urdi, Hindi and Pujabi. His £50 prize was sponsored by the 10 Baker Street beauty salon.

The final of the event, run by Gorleston Rotary, took place at the seafront bandstand on Sunday.

The other finalists were: 15-year-old Ormiston Academy student Jake Needham playing his own jazz arrangements on keyboard playing his own jazz arrangements; Jean O’Callaghan, a member of local Gilbert and Sullivan group, who performed West End show songs; and young Lowestoft singer guitarist Dana Jordan performing her own pop-punk compositions.

Rotary spokesman Mike Getvoldsen said: “During the afternoon a number of Rotarians had a chance to talk to the competitors and we were all blown away by their confidence, charisma and the sheer joy they got from performing.”

The final was attended by borough mayor Mary Coleman and compered by Dave Crickmore.

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