Powys teenager to perform on Butterfly Ball bill
A 16-year-old from Crickhowell, in Powys, has won a singing competition to perform at this year’s Butterfly Ball, in London, arguably the world’s most exclusive charity event.
Alfie Jones, a pupil at Christ College Brecon, beat off stiff competition in ‘Time to Shine’, an online search to discover an unknown singer who could join a line-up that includes legendary singer, and ten-time GRAMMY Award winner, Chaka Khan and The X Factor superstar Leona Lewis, who has sold over 20 million records worldwide.
The Butterfly Ball was launched in 2007 by Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, and it receives worldwide media attention and attracts a host of A List celebrity guests.
This year’s Butterfly Ball will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair, on Thursday 13th June, 2019.
Alfie, who has two older brothers aged 19 and 23 and two sisters aged 14 and 25, says he has a passion for music and has ambitions to work in musical theatre.
“When I found out about the competition I immediately decided to enter,” enthused Alfie. “I’d never seen an opportunity like this before and I thought it would be amazing to share the stage with such musical legends.
“I’ve not had the chance to follow my dreams because my younger sister, Poppy, has an undiagnosed medical condition which is similar to quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
“This resulted in me growing up as a young carer and, along with my parents, I’ve had to spend a lot of time looking after her and accompanying her to hospital.”
Entrants were shortlisted by charity bosses before the top five artists went into an online public vote.
Over 800 votes were cast before the result was ratified by singer, songwriter, presenter and TV personality Peter Andre, Boyzone member Mikey Graham, and the singer, actor and TV presenter Johnathan Wilkes.
Alfie is in the process of sitting 10 GCSE’s and he hopes to study French, Spanish and Drama at A Level.
“I would love to go to drama school in London to study performing arts,” explained Alfie. “So this will be a great experience ahead of any auditions I may have to attend.”
Alfie was in a Spanish lesson when Caudwell Children tried to contact him to tell him the news that he had won their ‘Time to Shine’ competition, with his rendition of Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s smash hit Time to say Goodbye .
“The teacher knew that it was the day the winner would be announced so he let me listen to my voicemail,” said Alfie. “I was so nervous when I realised it was from Caudwell Children telling me that they wanted to speak to me.
“After the lesson I was walking across the school field when an email came through saying that I had won the competition, I simply couldn’t believe it.
“I was so happy when I walked into my school room and told one of my friends but he said ‘I didn’t expect that!’
“He wasn’t being awful it’s just that he’d heard the other entrants who were all really strong.
“I took a screenshot of the email and sent it to my parents and they told me later that when they received it they both cried.”
Performing at the Butterfly Ball will be a big step up for Alfie as to date he has little experience of live performances. As he explained: “Last Christmas we did Phantom of the Opera as the school musical, and I played the Phantom.
“There were over 100 people at the show, which was great, but to play in front of 1000 people, on the same bill as Chaka Khan and Leona Lewis, will be pretty nerve wracking.”
Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, is delighted that Alfie will get the chance to perform at the Butterfly Ball. As she exclaimed: “To perform the song of your choice at such a prestigious event, and in front of such a fantastic audience, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“We can’t wait to welcome our ‘Time to Shine’ winner on to the stage at the Butterfly ball, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of the evening and a memory Alfie will treasure forever.”
You find out more about the Butterfly Ball and book tickets online here.