Opera student and Rose of Tralee hopeful learned craft in milking parlour
Opera student and Florida Rose of Tralee entrant Victoria Sexton learned the craft of singing not in a local choir but while mucking out in the milking parlour with her grandfather in Kildare.
"As a child I would help my grandfather Eddie milk the cows. He's a great tenor so we would sing together while milking the cows and cleaning up afterwards," says Victoria.
In 2001, Victoria's mother Jacquelyn, a hairdresser, was granted a green card to the US. Three years later, she, husband Edward and daughters Victoria, Alexandra and Charlene upped sticks from their home Rathmuck, Co Kildare to Ocala, Florida.
Victoria says the biggest adjustment to moving to the other side of the world was the weather.
"It's so warm in Florida. My blood is too thick for the heat. I'm lucky in that I can still get back to Kildare a few times a year and can visit a lot of family," she says.
Victoria's grandfather owns the successful Kildare Farm Foods and is her sponsor for the Rose of Tralee competition.
"I grew up on that farm and try to go back there as much as I can. Every Christmas I come back to help out on the farm and feed the animals," says the 24-year-old.
"At Christmas time I play the part of Holly the Elf for the Santa village there which is always lots of fun, and work in the cafe too."