Music out of
the mouths of babes

Four remarquable young female talents.

By Byron Toben

Montreal area viewers may have fond memories of the all female choir circa 1997-2010 directed by Laura Teasdale, comprised of twenty young local actresses and dubbed amusingly “Out Of The Mouths of Babes”. According to famed gospel musical reviewer Matthew, this phrase is attributed to one Jesus of Nazareth…. or Galilee, take your pick.

Anyway, reminiscing about that group led to musing how many famous musicians were discovered to have talents so early on, beginning with Mozart at age 4. (His sister was reputed to be even better, but Austria in 1760 was not exactly a hot spot of Women’s Lib).

In more modern times, we have Michael Jackson at 5, Stevie Wonder and Judy Garland (both at 13), Brenda Lee at 10 and, at only 3(!), Sugar Chile Robinson.

With the advent of various “This Country’s Got Talent Shows”, we noticed a fresh flock of enfants merveilleux. Here are my own “fab four” of such, all female, recognized between 8 to 11 years of age.

The first two have long surnames. They are Amira Willighagen (9) of the Netherlands and Chloe Hickinbottom (10) of the U.K.

The next two go by one name only. They are Erza (8) of France and Sofie (10) of Denmark.

(Click on their names to hear them sing).

Readers may note that I am partial to old souls manifested in perceptive youth. The above lasses channel Pavarotti, Vera Lynn, Edith Piaf and Leonard Cohen, without mere imitation.

www.Westmountmag.ca welcomes comments on these selections and invites your own choices if you wish.

Image: publicity still of the teenage Judy Garland — public domain.

Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club.

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