Catching up with AIMES Alumni Tayla Alexander

Tayla has been the recipient of an AIMES Judges Special Award in 2014, and an AIMES Emerging Talent Award, sponsored by Bellingham Wallace, in 2018.

AIMES Alumni Tayla Alexander has launched 'Tayla Made Foundation' supporting her peers in the music industry

In the midst of COVID-19 uncertainty, 19-year-old soprano Tayla Alexander, a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship student currently in the music programme at the University of Waikato, is launching a national charitable foundation to support young Kiwi artists and musicians under the auspices of the Perpetual Guardian Foundation. At the same time, she is opening up a Givealittle page asking arts lovers to “help save classical music from extinction by supporting young emerging artists”.

The Tayla Made Foundation and the Givealittle campaign launched on 16 September, backed by an initial $25,000 in grants from the estate of Patricia McCormick. The grants will be distributed in amounts of $500, $1,500 and between $2,500 and $10,000 to successful applicants. Applications are open from 16 September to 14 October 2020 to artists around New Zealand who are desperate to get out of mandatory hibernation and progress their ambitions and goals.

Separate but related, the funds raised through the associated Givealittle page will be used to support projects such as song recordings, album productions, performances and concerts – thereby providing another key income stream for musical artists.

The Tayla Made Foundation has been officially and legally established, with an Advisory Board that includes Tayla and her sister Jade Alexander along with Terri Cumiskey, Director of Marketing and Development at NZ Opera, and Gillian Peebles, a well-known philanthropist and classical music supporter.

“Even though I have been studying music and performing for many years, I am still a teenager and understand how intimidating it is to forge a path in music. I want other singers to feel supported the way I’ve been lucky enough to feel. This career can feel absolutely terrifying and it would be lovely to create a community of young singers who understand one another and can be guided not just financially but through opportunity.”

One of the projects the Foundation will seek support for through Givealittle is a classical music album, which Tayla will produce, and a concert series, Bellissima!, with a Youth Orchestra and other guest youth artists of diverse ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds, including performers from the across the country. The album is tentatively set for release in late 2021.

Here you can listen to Tayla's interview with Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB -