Elaine Huckle’s (b. 1947) first singing efforts took place at her local church when she was 7 years of age, where she sang “O Come all ye faithful” as a solo. Her parents walked home in disbelief, newly aware that their daughter could sing rather well.
So she soon found herself singing solo at Eisteddfods and gaining many certificates at festivals. Eventually she sang solo at the age of 11 for all the local schools at Wembley Town Hall in London. Huckle was unable to go to a music college and formally trained as an engineering draftswoman. Her love of singing never diminished, and she continued to study the craft at Trinity College in London; this was a good start, and she found herself singing with a band, performing at places like the Dorchester Hotel, Cafe Royal, Cumberland Hotel, and many more.
Andrew Jackman, who arranged the music for You’re A Lady, contacted Huckle and asked whether she would like to back Peter Skellern’s music. She soon found herself singing on the BBC Program “Top of the Pops.”
Huckle took a hiatus from signing to care for her two children, Kate and John. Shakespearean actor Sidney Bromley, who was lodging with Huckle at the time, advised her to return to singing because she had “a voice.” She took this as a message, and returned to her studies. She eventually found herself singing with Pro Music Chorus in London, conductors such as Sir Charles Mackerras at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, and in the televised production of Benveunuto Cellini in Lyons. Unknown to her, she had undiagnosed coeliac disease and her energy levels were troubling. It was at this time she came second in a vocal competition, accompanied by Robert Keys. Huckle was later told that this amazing accompanist, who had worked with Maria Callas, had said she would make a singer.
This was a time of great change and personal development for Huckle. The coeliac disease was formally diagnosed, and her husband understood her love of music and commitment to her craft. After an interview, Huckle started studying again with Stuart Smith and Janet Edmunds, who taught vocal coaching at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Her studies soon developed into long-term friendships and musical relationships, which she values in many ways. The Birmingham Conservatoire has shown considerable interest in Huckle, and published an article about her in their official magazine.
Unfortunately, before Huckle moved to Birmingham, she found herself with breast cancer. Though she was devastated by the diagnosis, her surgeon said her way through was to sing, and she took him at his word. She sang and rested, and raised considerable funds for cancer charities by performing with schools such as King Edward VI at The Cathedral in Birmingham. Her music was sold in many cathedrals in England. Pro-Musica London also performed with her at this time at The Cathedral with Robert Hamwee, their conductor. She also performed for a charity helping Malawi, supported by many schools in Birmingham performing a kaleidoscope of different types of music from around the world. Huckle also performed for Sargent’s Cancer Care for Children.
When visiting Israel, Huckle was asked to sing in the fields of Bethlehem “O Come all ye faithful,” a performance bolstered by her childhood memories of singing the carol at Wembley. She also sang Weatherly’s The Holy City on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem, which she regards as a precious moment in her life. On the return journey, arrangements were made for her to make a recording in the Church of the Ascension in Birmingham, which resulted in the Holy City album. Louis Demetrius Alvanis contacted Huckle to share his praise of the album, and arranged for her to sing at St. John’s Smith Square in an evening recital. This was her debut performance on the professional stage as a classical singer.
Through the years Huckle’s health gradually improved. She moved to bedford, where Alvanis continued his support and organized many solo recitals. Huckle has gone on to perform with talented musicians around the world, including recent performances of Rachmaninov, Ravel, and Saint-Saens alongside Ayako Yoshida. During her time in Bedford, she began recording some of her music, which has culminated in this album, TOWARD THE LIGHT. She has also supported the Classic FM Foundation and their works with the disadvantaged, and continues to perform in international concerts working with Alvanist and take master classes.
Huckle is now in good health and is taking the opportunity to sing to the fullest. She has been asked to perform in a musical comedy film in London, and has recently performed in a charity concert for Yorkshire Wildlife Park to show her support for the animal kingdom and conservation.