Open Mic UK competition success for performers

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TWO young singers from the area are celebrating after making it through to the next stage of a competition.

Ten-year-old Katie Marshall, of High Street East, Uppingham, and Maddie Rowland, 15, of Water Lane, South Witham, were among 25 competitors in the regional finals of the Open Mic UK competition in the under 16 category.

Both girls performed songs they had chosen themselves in front of a 200-strong audience at the competition in Bedford on Sunday.

Just seven singers made it through to the area finals, which will be held in Bedford on November 27.

Katie, a pupil at Leighfield Primary School in Uppingham where she sings with the choir, sang Time to Say Goodbye to a backing track.

Katie’s proud mum Sarah said: “It was really exciting for her as she was the youngest competitor there. She sang beautifully and it was a really amazing experience for her.

“She’s so pleased to get through, especially as most of the singers were nearly 16, and it is absolutely fantastic that another girl from the area is also through to the next round.”

Maddie, a pupil at the Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, chose to sing a song called Tell Me What We’re Going To Do Now by Joss Stone. She was accompanied by a guitarist.

Maddie said: “I am used to performing but I have never competed before so that aspect of it was really daunting and while I was waiting, I could watch the other people and there were lots of amazing singers.

“I think being accompanied by a guitarist helped because lots of the singers had a backing track instead.”

Maddie said she was excited to get through to the next round and keeping her fingers crossed that she would progress to the grand final.

The winners of the area final, which will include competitors from five areas, will progress to the grand final, which will be held at the 02 Arena at London in January.

The overall winner will receive a recording contract, worth up to £30,000 and there are other prizes up for grabs.

To find out more about the competition visit www.openmicuk.co.uk where there will also be links to YouTube so you can view Maddie and Katie’s winning performances.