Festival youngsters 'can be inspired' by Strictly's Natalie Gumede

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Lynda Robinson, 10, from Read, sang 'My Own House' in the Junior Light Opera/Musical section for up to 14 years old Lynda Robinson, 10, from Read, sang 'My Own House' in the Junior Light Opera/Musical section for up to 14 years old

YOUNG performers will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of East Lancashire’s Strictly Come Dancing star Natalie Gumede after success at a performing arts festival in Colne.

Natalie, a former pupil of Colne Park High School, appeared in the Luther Greenwood Memorial Festival at the age of five. At the weekend, the event attracted hundreds of youngsters to venues across Colne.

Prizes are given for music, speech, drama and dance with competitors aged up to 18 from all over East Lancashire taking part.

Eric Beardsworth, festival chairman, said: “Entries were slightly up this year which is good news. All the music this year was under one roof, at the Muni, and there was a good audience there.

“It is good that people taking part can see the success Natalie has had. It can inspire them and give them something to aim for.”

The festival said goodbye to Anne Mott, who has been a regular piano accompanist for festival competitors for 20 years. Anne is moving from Keighley to York next year with husband Peter, a former Rector of Colne, and is having to give up her music commitments in Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

She said: “I’ve had a marvellous time playing for the festival over the years, and I’ll miss everyone here.”

List of award winners: Jade Brett, Megan Rowlandson, Amelia Halsall, Angelo Domingo, Phoebe Spencer-Hall, Ross Entwistle, Sarah Nuttall, Alisha Ismael, Anna Putland, Freddie Pickford, Zaynah Lorgat, Grace Berry, Maya Mohan-Pillai, Amelia Bleasdale, Emily Berry, Zaahidah Patel, Emily Berry

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