Singer Katie set for the big time

Katie Glaister will perform in front of 15,000 people
Katie Glaister will perform in front of 15,000 people

A TALENTED schoolgirl is set for two performances of her life – including one where she will see her mum for the first time in a year.

Katie Glaister will perform in front of 15,000 people at the Stockton International Riverside Festival in August.

And before she takes that massive step, she faces an emotional reunion with her mum Wiliwan, who she saw last year for the first time since 2006, in Thailand.

Her mum has also arranged for the 15-year-old to play a concert in a town called Chum Phae in front of hundreds of people.

Katie, who has been playing the guitar since she was nine, under the guidance of Hartlepool tutor Anthony Ingledew, and also sings, is due to sign up with music agency Beverley Artistes North East when she turns 16.

The youngster, who has had massive success on YouTube after uploading her performances, said: “I’m really nervous for Stockton, it’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever performed to in my life.

“When I’m on stage, I’m proper shaking, but when I get more into the song I start to have that buzz.

“I haven’t seen my mum for so long, and I’m also nervous for going to see her.

“She always watches me on YouTube, it will be more emotional for her.”

Katie was born in Thailand to Wiliwan and Wingate man Ronnie Glaister, 53, who was a mechanical fitter at the time.

She spent the first half of her life travelling around the world with her dad and his job, before the family settled in Wingate.

But since her parents divorced, apart from a holiday in Thailand last year, Katie has only been in touch with her mum via the phone and the internet.

Her proud dad Ronnie, of Durham Road, Wingate, who took her for tuition when teachers told him she “had something”, said: “She has been learning with Anthony since she was nine years old, at St Mary’s Primary School.

“She’s superb now and writes her own songs.

“She has got a couple of concerts coming up, but they are nowhere near the size of the Stockton festival.

“She can’t get her head around how many 15,000 people is – the only way I could show her was by watching a football match and saying that half of the crowd is roughly how many.”

Katie, a pupil at St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, in Peterlee, who also attends the Northern School of Music, in Hartlepool, is also set for a gig at Hartlepool’s Cameron’s Club, in Waldon Street, from 7.30pm on May 25, and a concert at the Studio, in the town, on a date to be confirmed.

Katie, who performed a version of Wind Beneath My Wings at her grandmother Betty Glaister’s funeral last month, has played at The Causeway pub in the town.

She is also set to play at a charity gig for Macmillan Cancer Support at the Fir Tree pub, in Durham Road, Wingate, in July 13, from 7pm, after the charity helped her grandfather, Ronnie, who died from cancer aged 83 three years ago.

Music tutor Anthony said: “Even at nine years old, Katie was fired up and you could tell there was something there.

“If you watch these shows like The Voice, she could easily win that.”