Be proud. Be very proud, because that was seriously good.
That was the message to the 12 fantastic acts who took part in the first-ever Best of Hartlepool Awards Young Performer night.
It was a chance for each of the acts to show off their undoubted talents in front of a live audience - and every one of them did it in style on stage at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.
Today, we re-live some of the highlights and share the wonderful comments of the judges on each act.
The panel consisted of Joy Yates, editorial director of the Hartlepool Mail; Mark Huges, head teacher at Hartlepool Sixth Form College;, Alby Pattison, CEO of town firm Hart Biologicals; and Ian Willis, PR and marketing manager at Utility Alliance.
* MTA Infant Choir - They sang a magnificent medley and Joy told them: “You were brilliant. I love to see all your great big smiles. Alby added: “I loved the dynamics of going loud then quiet and the use of the solo was really good.”
We have seen some super talent on stage tonightGavin Foster
* Sparkle - Their excellent harmonies had Ian enthusing: “That was absolutely fantastic. Two great songs. You should be proud of yourselves.” Mark told the four-strong group: “The song choice was ace. We got to hear all of you sing.”
* Max Penfold - Dancer Max was told by Ian: “You were the first one of the night to perform by yourself and you did yourself proud.” Joy commented: “That was full of attitude, a little bit of cheekiness and a lot of attitude.”
* Jay Allan’s ballet performance got great praise from Alby who said: “I know what goes in to a performance like that. It was very technically well done.” And Mark told Jay: “The execution of movement was fantastic and very expressive.”
* Ben Bartlett sang a Lady Gaga number and Joy told him: “Respect for doing that. There were moments when you reached those notes and I did get goosebumps.” Mark said he was “blown away. That was a really powerful voice and a great vocal range.”
* Lily Cadwallender’s singing and dancing routine had Ian enthusing: “Brilliant. The full package. You had absolutely everything in that.” Alby said he could see why Lily had been chosen for an international tour of Billy Elliot.
* Harriet Jeffery, a performing arts star, was praised for her great delivery by Ian, while Joy said: “Wow. You really captured the audience’s attention. I am in awe of your performance.”
* Ashley Watson gave a powerful dance performance which had Mark commenting: “Very expressive. I am sure you have got a good career ahead of you.” Joy told Ashley: “The emotion was oozing out of your pores. It made me feel like I was on the stage with you.”
* Lucky Stokle’s beautiful song choice won praise from Alby who said: “It was powerful. Keep singing, that was really good.” Ian added: “You should be proud of yourself and we shall be seeing a lot more of you.”
* Marcel Li-Ping’s dance routine was described by Joy as “an amazingly powerful performance. It was incredible the way you used the stage.” Mark said: “Your muscular endurance is incredible. Tap, street, hiphop, you can see bits of them coming out in your routine.”
* MTA Junior Choir - A tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack was described by Alby as “dynamic. I really enjoyed listening to you,” he said. Mark thought it was “expressive. Even though you were singing as a group, individually you all seemed to be performing with expression.”
* Bugle Boy - Their lively dance routine was hailed by Joy as “very engaging, very bubbly and you could not help but sit and tap your hands and feet.” Ian added: “That was very well put together and great choreography.”
Now comes the hard part. The judges have to whittle down 12 fantastic acts into a shortlist.
Compere Gavin Foster, the Hartlepool Mail’s managing editor, said: “We have seen some super talent on stage tonight.”
The top three acts will go forward to the overall Best of Hartlepool Awards final on Tuesday, November 21, where they will get to perform once again and the winner will be announced.
Watch out for the announcement of all the shortlists - from each of the Best of Hartlepool Awards categories - in the Hartlepool Mail soon.
The awards have been sponsored by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees NHS Clinical Commissioning Group; Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Hart Biologicals, along with Stagecoach North East and Specsavers.
Cleveland College of Art and Design, Hartlepool United FC, Joel D. Kerr Funerals and Utility Alliance have also come on board as sponsors.