Hartlepool schoolgirl reaches regionals in Open Mic contest

Rebecca Smith who has reached the regional finals of the Open Mic competition
Rebecca Smith who has reached the regional finals of the Open Mic competition

TEENAGE singer Rebecca Smith is ready to belt out a ballad as she bids to win a singing competition.

The 15-year-old from the MTA performing arts academy, in Park Road, Hartlepool, has reached the regional stages of the prestigious Open Mic contest.

She will perform at the Mill Volvo Theatre, in Newcastle on October 19, in her bid to qualify for the national event.

Rebecca, who comes from Hawthorn in East Durham and attends Easington Academy, will perform Adele’s I Can’t Make You Love Me in front of an audience of thousands on Tyneside.

Her proud mum Maxine Smith, 42, said: “All of her family will be there and I can hardly watch when she is on stage. I start crying every time.

“It would be fantastic if she reached the national stages,” added Maxine who is a part-time hairdresser.

Rebecca has two sisters Toni, 27, and Francesca, 18.

Her dad Ian Smith, 50, runs his own business as a landscape gardener.

MTA owner Toni Parker-Harvey said: “She has a great natural talent. She’s growing in confidence every lesson which is great and she loves performing.

“Everyone at MTA is behind her it’s great to have such a supportive school they are all so happy when a student does well.”

Open Mic, held by Future Music, is the biggest search for unsigned talent in the UK, and travels the country every year in search for the best singers, singer-songwriters, rappers and vocalists.

Thousands of hopefuls entered the competition. Those who made it through the audition stage will now take part in a live head-to-head battle alongside the best talent in their region, performing in front of hundreds of audience members and a music industry judging panel in their bid to win a place at the national grand final.

Events co-ordinator and head of Future Music Chris Grayston said “Every year that we hold this competition the bar is raised and the quality gets higher and higher. We’re really looking forward to experiencing the raw talent from across the country.”

The competition is divided into age categories - Under 16, 16-20 and 21 and over, and the national finalists will have the chance to be win the main prize of £5,000 to spend on the development of their music career.