The search is over. The people have spoken and a new star is born for Glamis Prom 2018.
Zoe Heggie is the choice of Courier readers and judges in the Glamis Prom Search for a Star talent search.
Judges and readers made their choices from video submissions from four finalists, with Eilidh Robertson Laidlaw, 17, Tia Wilson,16, and Matthew Tosh, 18, the other three contenders.
Zoe, 19, is from Dundee and studying musical theatre in Glasgow.
Her win means she will share the stage with this year’s celebrity singers – Kerry Ellis, Tom Urie, Saskia Eng and Norman Bowman.
The theme for this year’s star-studded Prom, on August 25, is The Great British Songbook.
Applications were invited from people of all ages and the contest attracted more than 2,000 votes.
Zoe was the popular choice of Courier readers and she was also the unanimous choice of the five judges.
Judges included Glamis Prom director Peter Ferguson, Glamis Prom’s Paul Smith, Courier acting editor Catriona MacInnes, Courier columnist Helen Brown, who is also an opera singer and adjudicator for secondary schools and Rotary International, and Courier features editor Gillian Lord.
Peter said organisers have been delighted with the response to the competition.
“We were literally inundated with videos of the lovely locals singing and it was such a hard decision to pick a winner – but we are confident we picked the right one!” he said.
“To give an opportunity to someone who has not performed on a big stage with a big orchestra is exciting for us, too. It’s fantastic to see a dream come true.”
Helen said the range of talent was “great” and the calibre was very high across the board.
“It was brilliant to have so many diverse entries from the musical and pop spectrum,” she added.
“The very best entrants weren’t just confident singers with a good voice – they were all-round performers who could really sell a song and make a connection with the listener. And of course, at Glamis, that means reaching out to thousands of people, live.”
Helen said Zoe was an “obvious winner” because she had “that certain something that speaks to people directly”.
“Her voice encompasses soft and gentle through to major dramatic expression – the ability both to do justice to the meaning of the song she’s singing and to give an audience an experience they won’t forget in a hurry,” she said.
While Zoe will shine in the Glamis spotlight, the three finalists should be very proud of themselves to have made it so far – they were plucked from a staggering 2,180 entries after all!
While Eilidh is a pupil at the Community School of Auchterarder, Tia has just gone into fifth year at Morgan Academy and lives in the Maryfield area of Dundee.
Meanwhile Matthew has just turned 18 and will start at Aberdeen college later this month studying music. He volunteers and works with Class Act drama helping children with drama and music skills and also plays piano.
Last year’s winner was Erin Paterson, who was only 12 years old and a pupil at Inchture Primary School.
Producers were flooded with entries but Erin took the top spot and performed “Tomorrow” from Annie, sharing the stage with Susan Boyle, Lee Mead, Jai McDowall and Christina Bianco.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Erin, now 13 and a pupil at Perth High School.
“Before the Prom, I’d never had any singing lessons but my mum and dad are both musicians so being musical runs in the family.
“Meeting all the stars and singing along with a big orchestra was amazing; something I never thought I’d do.”
The Glamis Prom is one of the highlights of Scotland’s music calendar, bringing national and international superstars to the stage.
It’s set against the stunning backdrop of Glamis Castle and music lovers can purchase gazebo pitches and are allowed to bring their own picnics to enjoy al fresco food and drink. www.glamisprom.com