Rising young pop stars from two local schools showed off their musical talents at an X Factor-style competition.
Thirteen acts from Rushcliffe School in West Bridgford and Clifton’s Farnborough Academy battled it out to win the final of the City Lights talent competition, in a bid to follow in the footsteps of local pop hero and former Farnborough pupil Jake Bugg.
The competition was organised by the Trent Academies Group, which both schools belong to, as a way to help the aspiring performers gain stage experience and further their ambitions.
Modelled on the hit TV shows X factor and Britain’s Got Talent, the final saw the teenagers perform in front of a 150-strong audience and a panel of five judges at Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park.
Among the judges was Mojghan Omid, aka Mya de Angelo, a Year 11 student at Rushcliffe School, who has already got a recording deal and secured a place at the Brit School in London.
At the end of the night the audience voted using an app on their smartphones or tablets and two winners were declared: Friends of Them, an acoustic band from Rushcliffe School, consisting of 15 year-olds Ruby Turner, Ben Watts, Alfie Parnell and Josh Gamlen, who wowed the audience with their own version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Don’t’, and 14-year-old solo singer Skye Allsopp, who made a big impression with her cover of ‘Grenade’ by Bruno Mars.
Lead singer of Friends of Them, Ruby, said: “What a night. Great fun. So good to be working with another academy.”
Skye added: “It’s been such a good experience, nerve-wracking but so much fun.”
Phil Crompton, executive head of the Trent Academies Group, who was also head judge on the night, explained the ethos behind the competition: “When the Trent Academies Group was created and our schools began to work together, it seemed obvious that music and drama should be at the heart of the partnership; collaboration is inherent in the arts.
“This competition has given our students a unique opportunity to share their work, experience the thrill of live performance and get a taste of the professional industry they aspire to work in.”
Ben Pitts, head of arts at Rushcliffe School, was delighted with the success of the night. He said: “City Lights has provided a great showcase for some of the best young talent emerging in Nottingham today.
“Some of the performances have been outstanding. I’m very proud and privileged to work alongside such incredible young people.”