Toni’s delight at young stars

A PERFORMING arts academy has celebrated its first birthday with a night of celebration – and lots of awards for its young stars.

MTA, which stands for Miss Toni’s Academy of Singing & Performing Arts, is based in Park Road, in Hartlepool and is run by Toni Parker-Harvey.

Lottie Willis, winner of the MTA student of the year trophy and the pupil's pupil award

Lottie Willis, winner of the MTA student of the year trophy and the pupil's pupil award

The academy celebrated its first birthday with a “presentation evening extravaganza”, and Toni admitted she was stunned at how well the first year has gone.

It now has more than 70 students, and has recently extended its teaching faculty to offer one-to-one guitar lessons.

It also offers one-to-one singing and performing arts classes.

The celebration event, at the Belle Vue Social Club, was a sell-out, with more than 200 people there, including friends and family of the academy’s students.

Toni said: “The night was focused on recognising the achievements and success of the students over the past 12 months, including presenting official exam certificates to students who have taken graded exams.

“Every student received either a bronze, silver or gold progress award for their efforts and progression throughout the year.”

But it wasn’t just about awards. The night also included performances by the students including a rendition of Sing by Gary Barlow, performed by the full school.

Toni added: “The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing, the room was packed. Every student clapped and cheered their fellow students and they were all so proud of themselves. It was so lovely to see them all so happy.”

But Toni was keen to pass on the praise and said: “I am lucky to have a really good teaching team and such supportive parents and staff- I could not have done it without them.”