Phoebe Austin is about to take part in the biggest test of her young singing career. Aged just 11 she is taking part in Open Mic UK, previously won by artists such as Birdie.
Phoebe, from Tudor Road, Sudbury, began singing and playing guitar aged eight. Since then she has performed at LeeStock twice and at Bures Music Festival three years in a row, winning best newcomer aged nine, coming third overall aged 10 and this year winning best original score for her own song.
In 2014 she entered national singing competition TeenStar. Here she beat off thousands of competitors to make it to the area finals in London, aged just 10.
Most recently Phoebe performed at Chelmsford Marconi club in the regional finals of Open Mic UK Competition.
She performed her own song and was picked to progress to the area finals which will take place in November.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I really love doing music, it’s just what I want to do all the time,” said Phoebe.
At the moment she is busy concentrating on writing another song for the competition.
It’s already been a successful year for the youngster. As well her achievements at Bures Music Festival, she was recently chosen to be one of the narrators, a leading role, in the Ormiston Sudbury Academy production of Aladdin.
Remarkably she was chosen just weeks into starting as a Year 7 pupil at the school.
Leo Cox, head of performance at the academy, said: “We are so proud of Phoebe and her achievements in the open mic competition. She has a fantastic, mature voice, which is extremely strong for her age.
“Phoebe has recently been given a main principle role as one of the narrators in the academy’s upcoming production.
“She is one of the youngest students to be cast in a principal role, having only joined the academy six weeks ago.
“We expect big things from Phoebe in the future and are delighted that she chose to attend Ormiston Sudbury Academy to further develop her skills in the performing arts.”
Following her every step of the way is mum Claire, step-dad Matt and brother Elliott Austin.
“We are all very proud of her,” said Mrs Austin. “We just continue to support her as much as we can and go to as many gigs as we can get to.”
Mrs Austin said that in the last couple of years, with her focus being on music, she had outgrown her former school Tudor Primary School, but now, at Ormiston - which specialises in performing arts - she is enjoying having something to focus on.
Phoebe hopes to keep improving as an all round musician - singing, playing the guitar and writing songs.
She has asked for an electric guitar for Christmas and is teaching herself to play the piano.