About Barbara Gale
Barbara Gale (nee Savage) began singing at the Age of seven studying music and drama with Mrs Gladys Skillicorn and has never looked back since. She won the Noah Moore prize at eighteen and the Kathleen Ferrier Rose Bowl at nineteen, followed by the Open Mezzo and Open Contralto classes in successive years at the Manx Music Festival, the ‘Guild’ Barbara always seemed destined for success.
In 1983 she won the prestigious Rose Bowl at Blackpool Music Festival for the top soloist in the North West of England and also became a member of the Albany Theatre Group, Manx Amateur Drama Federation and is now a Life Member of both the Mananan Festival and the Friends of the Gaiety and has the honour to be a member of the Isle of Man Arts Council.
She is an old girl of the Buchan School passing all her Guildhall Drama examinations under Mrs Coll McHarrie and studied for two years to gain her Associate of the Drama Board qualification. In 1997 she was appointed Head of Drama at the Buchan School where she teaches both full class drama, small groups and individuals in one to one sessions, and is so successful her timetable is always very full.
Following her first Cleveland Gold Medal win in 1988 Barbara formed ‘Gale Force’ a Theatrical School for young People age 4-14 and at its first meeting 11 children registered - there are now 45 students registered and this has been the case throughout its 20 year history, now recognised as one of the most successful Theatre schools on the Island.
Following her Medal win, Barbara appeared at the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ as a guest - her appearance as ‘Britannia’ was such a success that it was a role she was to play for 10 years till the new Century arrived, 2000, when a new format was devised. Her costume is in wraps! And can be put on at a moment!
Barbara herself continued her success winning subsequent Cleveland Medals in 1990, 1999 and 2000, the first female to hold 4 medals equalling Allan Willcocks record which has stood for over 35 years and was the first female singer on the Isle of Man to have the honour of being invited to sing at The Tynwald Ceremony on July 5th in front of all Members of the Island Government and many VIP’s including His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
She has sung all the major contralto roles in Oratorio both here and in the UK and her recital work on the English Songs is always a success particularly Elgars ‘Sea Songs’. She also has very strong feelings to study Songs from her heritage and is very proud when performing them both in English and in the original Manx.
There is still one trophy at the Manx Music Festival which has eluded her, the Sir Lawrence and Lady New Trophy for Victorian and Edwardian Songs and as Lady Anna New is President of Gale Force Barbara is working very hard to achieve success here!