Little voices make a big noise in contest

Little Voices Big Stars, the Midlothian singing group.

Little Voices Big Stars, the Midlothian singing group.

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A group of young singers have proved that they are big stars by continuing to progress through a national talent competition for teenagers.

Little Voices Big Stars (LVBS), who practice at the Lasswade Centre, have made it through to the area final’s of TeenStar UK, the country’s only singing and dancing competition for teens and pre-teens.

The group will now perform on Saturday in the area final in Leeds for a chance to make it to the national final in July. This follows recent success at the regional final in Airdrie and previously in the heats in East Kilbride.

The pop singing classes are run by founder and coach Yvonne Williams and coach Vicki Beveridge who teach 200 children from the age of four. In the past they have sung at events including the Edinburgh Christmas Lights switch-on in George Street, the Edinburgh Fringe and had a sold out concert at the Brunton Theatre last year.

This LVBS group taking part in the TeenStar competition are aged between 10 and 15, with 24 girls and one boy.

Coach Vicki Beveridge was delighted with their success in Airdire and is hopeful that they can make it to the final.

She said: “It was brilliant, since then we have been practicing for Leeds. It’s just one step away from the grand final in London in July so everybody is very excited.

“I think obviously the further we go the harder the competition is, but if they keep singing the way they have been all the way through then they do deserve to get to the final.”

The group’s only boy, Jay Withers (14), loves to sing, play guitar and perform. He also auditioned for TeenStar as a solo singer and has made the TeenStar area finals in Leeds on his own as well.

He said: “I feel so lucky to have these opportunities and happy that the judges have enjoyed my performances up until now. I just need to work hard, practice and make my family and LVBS family proud and just do the best that I can.”

To qualify the group sang ‘Want to Want Me’ by Jason Derullo, while Jay singing solo performed ‘Famous’ by Nathan Sykes. This Saturday in Leeds the group will perform a mash-up of Rag and Bone Man’s ‘Skin’ and ‘Best Fake Smile’ by James Bay, while Jay will perform ‘Iron Sky’ by Paolo Nutini.

Vicki explained why she and Yvonne teach local children how to sing.

She said: “I’m one of the coaches, we have been running it for four years now.

“It’s not about money making for us, it’s about giving the kids confidence and seeing them enjoy themselves.”