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The Corporation

Posted: 12/05/17

ITV’s The Voice scouts West Notts’ talent

The tuning of guitars and voices practicing scales could be heard echoing along the corridors at West Nottinghamshire College this week.

  • The crowds practicing their acts in the Create building
  • Larina Stravadala and Tara Williams enjoyed practicing before Tara sang Valerie for her audition
  • Grace Baker sang Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden for her audition
  • Jessica Scott sang Ellie Goulding's Outside for the scouts
  • Luke Wilkinson and Larina Stravadala practiced together before auditions
  • Mattie Stokes is studying musical theatre and dreams of taking her skills to the West End
  • Luke Wilkinson encouraged Melissa Cammidge with practicing her selfpenned song And Thus We Begin

That’s because ITV’s The Voice paid a visit on Tuesday (9 May) to check out the vocal and musical skills among staff and students.

A steady line-up of talented hopefuls excitedly practiced their acts, ready to showcase to scouts who visited the college’s Create building at the Derby Road campus.

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Parker, who is a BTEC Level 1 Music student, was one of the first to take her song into the talent scouts. She chose to sing Dancing on My Own by Calvin Harris.

Amelia said, before going for her audition, “I would really love a singing career. I know it’s a difficult industry to get into but I’ll focus hard on my dream. Today is about just getting that extra experience and see if they like my voice.”

Adult life studies learner Jessica Scott, 17, admitted she “loved singing right from being a little girl” and took her rendition of Elle Goulding’s Outside, to the rehearsal room.

Originally from Latvia, music technology student Larina Stravadala, wowed waiting crowds with her version of Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey. The 17-year-old said: “I can’t remember never singing! I went to a music school in Latvia and loved it. I’m kind of relaxed about today’s audition as I also auditioned last year for Britain’s Got Talent when they visited the college last year.”

Another music student who also previously auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent last year was Tara Williams. The 19-year-old music diploma student opted for Amy Winehouse’s Valerie to impress the scouts this week.

She said: “Today was another attempt to shine! If I don’t get through – never mind, but the scouts just told me I was really good today. Hopefully they’ll email me soon to tell me if I’m through or not.”

A nervous Luke Wilkinson, 25, took his version of Beyonce’s Postcard to the audition, and said: “I felt quite nervous, but I’d definitely do it again! This is the first time I’ve ever auditioned for anything.”

Songwriter and Level 3 music student Melissa Cammidge, 19, took a self-penned song entitled And Thus We Begin into her audition. She said: “I listen to Linkin Park, Bonnie Tyler and lots of artists and I take inspiration from them when I create my own songs.

“Today I went into the audition with a calm state of mind. You have to realise they’re not against you and you’re simply showing them your best.”

Grace Baker, 18, performed a piece called Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden in a jazz style. She said: “I felt quite confident today and I really enjoy singing freestyle. I wasn’t that nervous because I also auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent when they came to West Notts last year.”

Mattie Stokes, 16, is used to getting her voice ready for the stage on her musical theatre course. Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me was Mattie’s choice for The Voice audition.

She said: “I’m a bit nervous about performing, but I’ll give it my best. My ultimate dream would be to work in the West End. I’m going to see a musical this weekend in Nottingham to get my fix!”

Even music and media programme area leader Phil Tonge got in on the act. He auditioned with the Stone Temple Pilot’s Creep. Phil, who is also in a band called Metanoia, an acoustic rock group, said: “I thought, why not give it a go. I’m used to performing so luckily I don’t suffer with too many nerves.

“The turn out for The Voice auditions has been really good and I hope that the scouts have discovered some acts worth putting forward.”