She was plucked from a staggering 2,180 entries to win the Glamis Prom 2018 Search for a Star competiton. Gayle Ritchie meets Zoe Heggie
Since finding out she had won the Glamis Prom Search for a Star contest, Zoe Heggie hasn’t stopped smiling.
When The Courier meets the 19-year-old at DC Thomson’s headquarters in Dundee’s Meadowside, she is grinning from ear to ear.
“I’m absolutely thrilled. When I found out I’d won on Saturday, I was over the moon!” she beams.
“I’m totally buzzing and I can’t wait to get on the stage. I’m so thankful to everyone who voted for me.”
Zoe – who is from Emmock Woods in Dundee and studying musical theatre at New College Lanarkshire in Motherwell – was picked from 2,180 entries to clinch the top spot.
She’s been singing since she was four years old and cites her mum and dad – who were in country music bands while she was growing up – as a major inspiration.
Her win means she will share the stage with this year’s celebrity singers – Kerry Ellis, Tom Urie, Saskia Eng and Norman Bowman.
However, Zoe admits she very nearly missed the deadline for the talent competition.
“My mum saw it on Facebook the day the competition was ending and it was only a couple of hours before the deadline,” she recalls.
“I quickly had to come up with a song and I picked With You from the musical, Ghost. I did it in one take.”
The theme for this year’s star-studded Prom, on August 25, is The Great British Songbook.
Zoe reckons she might sing a song from Phantom of the Opera but says she’s keeping her options open.
“I’ve done musical theatre since I was tiny and performed to audiences small and large, but nothing on this scale,” she adds.
“I’ve done a lot of lead roles before and performed with Dundee Schools but this is something else!”
Zoe is a huge fan of musical theatre star Kerry Ellis and can’t wait to meet her.
“I love Wicked and went to see it with my mum when I was tiny so to meet someone that’s been in the show is just fantastic.”
Looking to the future, Zoe says she would love to do musical theatre as a career. She also teaches dance, so that’s also an option.
With just a few weeks left before the Prom, Zoe will have her work cut out choosing which song to sing.
Her entire family will come to watch her in action, with some relatives coming from Kirriemuir and Crieff.
Applications for the competition were invited from people of all ages and the contest attracted more than 2,000 votes.
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 was the popular choice of Courier readers and she was also the unanimous choice of five judges – 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 says it was a hard decision to pick a winner but he is confident they “picked the right one”.
“To give an opportunity to someone who has not performed on a big stage with a big orchestra is exciting for us, too,” he says. “It’s fantastic to see a dream come true.”
Helen says Zoe was an “obvious winner” because she has “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 says.
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