Sunderland student swaps studies for singing

Local student and singer, Ingrid Robson is through to the regional finals of the Open Mic UK talent competition.

Local student and singer, Ingrid Robson is through to the regional finals of the Open Mic UK talent competition.

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A SUNDERLAND student has crooned her way into the spotlight of a national talent competition.

Ingrid Robson, 25, wowed judges with her rendition of Adele’s One and Only at the Open Mic UK 2012 auditions.

Now, the University of Sunderland student is gearing up to move on to the regional finals.

She fought off fierce competition from hundreds of other hopefuls to join the select few competing for a place in the national final at London’s O2 Arena.

The competition attracts more than 8,000 acts every year in the search for the UK’s gifted songwriters, rappers and vocalists, of any genre.

Auditionees are allowed to perform both song covers and original material.

Ingrid, of Hillview, who is studying counselling psychology, said she never expected to make it so far in the competition, as singing is new to her.

“I haven’t been doing it very long, really. I didn’t even think I’d get through. When they called my name, I was excited,” Ingrid said.

Ingrid didn’t expect to audition and only decided to when she and a friend received an email about the competition.

She and other regional finalists will battle it out in front of professional judges and an audience of hundreds.

Acts are allowed to perform in three age categories: 16 and under, 17 to 22 and 23 and over.

Ingrid will be in the last group and has the chance to sign to a major recording label.

Given the choice between a counselling psychology career or professional singing, the answer is clear for her.

“If I win, I’m definitely wanting to pursue a music career,” she said.

Judging by the success of previous Open Mic UK winners, her decision comes as no surprise. Hatty Keane, the 2010 winner, signed to Future Music and BGM, and has performed with singers such as man-of-the-moment Ed Sheeran.

Birdy, who won the competition in 2008, is signed to Warner and recently collaborated with band Mumford and Sons.

Ingrid said: “It would just be unreal to win. I never thought I could. It’s just unreal getting this far.”

The regional final takes place on Saturday, October 27, at the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

The X Factor hopeful Lucy Spraggan made a name for herself after finishing third in last year’s Live & Unsigned competition, which is a sister competition to Open Mic. She went on to perform as a guest act on last year’s Open Mic.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho