Young musician in running to win singing competition

A 12-year-old singer songwriter will be performing at one of the world’s best music venues after reaching the final of a national competition.

Rhys Butterworth-Bowman, from The Green in Leavenheath, will join a list of famous names, including The Rolling Stones, who have performed at the O2 when he steps out on stage for the final of Open Mic UK.

The young singer, who attends Stoke-by-Nayland Middle School and was named overall winner of Bures Music Festival this year, progressed through the regional finals of the talent contest last weekend. He performed a song by Ben Howard, before moving on to his own song Lights.

“He just couldn’t believe it when he went through,” said Rhys’ mum, Lisa.

“He was very well received by the audience and it is a massive achievement.”

Rhys, who regularly performs at The Eight Bells pub in Bures, is among 30 finalists who will be singing in front of a judging panel featuring Annie Nightingale from Radio 1 on January 19.