Washington singer in finals of national talent contest

Sophie Leigh, of Watcombe Close, Usworth Hall, Washington, who was successful in nation talent contest 'Teen Star' and will be singing live at the O2 in the grand final.
Sophie Leigh, of Watcombe Close, Usworth Hall, Washington, who was successful in nation talent contest 'Teen Star' and will be singing live at the O2 in the grand final.
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TEENAGE singer Sophie Leigh is set to perform at a world-famous music venue after reaching the finals of a national talent contest.

The 15-year-old, from Usworth Hall, Washington, will appear on stage at The O2 Arena in London, after impressing the TeenStar judging panel.

The Biddick School Sports College pupil beat off competition from thousands of other aspiring stars in a series of gruelling auditions before taking part in regional and national live-music showcases.

Now the talented youngster will perform at the TeenStar 2013 National Grand Final at the O2, part of the Greenwich attraction.

“I can’t believe how far I have come in the competition,” said Sophie. “To be told I’m actually going to be singing at The O2 in London is unbelievable, and I really can’t wait.”

There is more than £20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs throughout the competition, with the overall winner handed £5,000 and a publicity and consultation package to help kickstart their musical career.

“I’ve only really performed at school previously, so to have this chance is totally amazing,” said Sophie.

“I’ve had so much support from everyone, especially my music teacher, Mr Dunston.

“He is the one who has given me the confidence.

“I have a lot to thank him for.”

The competition for teens and pre-teens travels the UK in search of the best singers, singer-songwriters, rappers and vocalists of all genres.

Mum Sarah Callaghan said: “We’re all so proud of her.”

Choice FM’s and former Radio 1 DJ Ras Kwame, KISS FM’s Charlie Hedges, and Ivor Novello and award-winning songwriter and producer Mark Hill will be on the judging panel for the July 7 event.

Chris Grayston, events co-ordinator for TeenStar, said: “We are searching for an act that not only has the ability to impress an audience, industry judges and A&R associates, but has the potential to become a professional recording artist.

“The O2 is the best place to showcase your talent, in front of a massive crowd and celebrity judges.

“It’s going to be a huge event, and an experience of a lifetime for all our finalists.”