Anthony Sandler on stage at the 2015 McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Anthony Sandler, winner of the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Singer of the Year, reveals the connection he and his family have to music and what his triumphant win meant to them. He also tells us about his exciting upcoming plans and everything 2016 has in store for him!
What did winning the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Singer of the Year feel like?
I was absolutely astounded that I won! It was an incredibly exciting and emotional moment for myself and my family, who have supported me throughout my life and professional career. I felt very humbled and honoured to win this year's event.
Who or what inspired you to start singing?
My Dad always used to sing with his guitar when I was growing up and the entire family would sing in the car and bond over music. I guess it's not the case of who or what "inspired" me to sing, as it was just apart of my DNA. I was also inspired to pursue music as a career in high school when I was part of the jazz band.
What have been your highlights of this past year?
I have had the privilege to work at the Sydney Opera House for over a year and was able to watch hundreds of different performances ranging from the Australian Opera to Ben Folds and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. I was also accepted into the Guildford School of Acting in the UK to study an MA of Musical Theatre. Beyond the Sydney Eisteddford, this year has been incredibly challenging and rewarding.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to, and why?
I love watching people like Freddy Mercury and Frank Sinatra who could command a stage and audience so proficiently and differently. I listen to many different styles of music ranging from classical and jazz to indie and folk. As a performer I think it's important to be able to recognise different styles and adapt to them.
In the Singer of the Year Final you performed Twentysomething by Jamie Cullum. Tell us a little bit about why you chose this song.
I chose Twentysomething because it was literally a song about my present life. I had just finished my university degree, as a 'Twentysomething', and had so many choices to make as a young adult stepping out into the real world. I developed a strong connection with it, which is invaluable as a performer.
What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
I am most looking forward to living and studying in the UK. I'm currently studying at GSA and it's been a phenomenal experience thus far. I have also been able to watch some amazing shows and performers that this country has to offer both at GSA and in the professional industry.
Do you have any more advice for (even) younger performers on how best to approach starting their careers?
If I've learned anything with my experience, it is that it's important to do as much as you can of what you love while your young. If you want to learn to play an instrument, dance, surf, cook, build and invent, act, paint or even learn another language, just do it and I promise it will help you in the future. As a performer is it so important to have as much experience in as many thing as you can because as you grow up, life and other responsibilities take control. Life isn't a dress rehearsal, it's the real thing! Do what you love.