News & Achievements

High School singing star reaches final of UK’s top competition at O2

When the judges of top UK singing competition 'Open Mic' heard Truro High School's Maisie Tooley sing they said it made their spines tingle.

The top score they awarded the talented 16-year-old won her a coveted place at the competition’s grand final held at London’s O2.

Maisie, who lives in Padstow, was one of the youngest performers competing in the final, which was judged by former D-Reem vocalist Peter Cunnah, singer Shola Ama and legendary Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale. Maisie didn’t win, but the amazing experience has certainly got her noticed and confirmed that singing and performing is what she wants do for the rest of her life.

Maisie said: “Singing at such a venue was out of this world. I was a bit nervous but more excited because how many 16 year olds get to perform there? Apart from the performance and meeting such cool people, my favourite memory was when we were in the bar at the hotel and I met a rap group called ‘Hip Hop Disciples’. They were being interviewed and photographed for a radio station and their manager included me and then we all put on an impromptu performance right there in the hotel foyer!”

The competition, which attracted 20,000 entries nationally, began in September with regional auditions in Bristol. Maisie sang just a snippet of the jazz song, ‘At Last’, before she was put straight through to the next round, again held in Bristol, including singers from the South West and Wales. As Maisie is being classically trained at Truro High School she chose to sing the classical crossover piece, ‘Time to Say Goodbye’. The judges told her she would go far and put her through to the area final.

That event, showcasing 25 hopefuls, was held at the Beck Theatre, west London. Maisie again sang ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ and was told her performance was spine tingling and made classical music cool. A top score put her through to the grand final at the O2, which was eventually won by a rapper called Shak.

The Open Mic competition may be over but Maisie still has a number of performances coming up. She is taking the part of Nancy in the Truro High School production of ‘Oliver’, is a regular guest soloist with the Wadebridge Male Voice Choir and frequently sings with Cornish singer, Shane Solomon, at charity events including Midsummer Music at Prideaux Place and the Rock Oyster Festival.

Speaking about Maisie’s ‘Open Mic’ success, Truro High School Headmistress, Caroline Pascoe, said: “What an outstanding achievement. Maisie has a huge musical talent and is as comfortable singing pop and jazz as she is classical music. She is an integral member of many school performance groups and we all support her ambitions to pursue a career in the music industry.”


Published by: Darren Stevens

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