TeenStar 2013 – Mark Race from Durham School is in the Final! Next stop is the O2 London!

17 May 2013

Congratulations to 17 year old Mark Race, a Sixth Form pupil at Durham School, who has made it to the Grand Final of TeenStar 2013! Mark sang his way through the regional heats in the 16-19 years category, the regional finals and then the North East England and Scotland Area Final held on 12 May in Newcastle, to reach the final 20 singers in the country! The competition started off with over 10,000 entries, so to reach this stage is amazing!

Judging the Newcastle singing contest were Rob Davies from NE1 Radio, Nina Ritson from Newcastle Green Festival, Briony McStea from the teen podcast Podium, Julie Miles from Vocal Ovation, vocal coach Helena Davison-Webber and Head of A&R at Future Music Ben Price. They gave Mark some excellent feedback: “Excellent guitar vocals. Excellent swagger, Mark. Great vocals, it’s all there, would like to hear some of your original material.”

Mark explained how it all came about: “I first picked up a guitar when I was in Year 7 and for two years I just taught myself. In Year 9 I started taking lessons at Durham School with Mr Woods and it was through his encouragement and that of the school that I built up my confidence and was able to play in a variety of school performances. I previously felt scared of failure and that I was not as good as other singers. Singing in school has really broadened my horizons and I have now been writing my own material for about two years. It was a collaborative song, written with Mr Woods, that I performed at the Auditions, called ‘Good Friday’ and we are now working on a new song together for the Grand Final. I have never entered anything before like TeenStar, although I did think about entering an OpenMic event, but my nerves got the better of me and I changed my mind. I feel so much more confident now and my mum suggested that I had nothing to lose and it would be good experience and the rest is history! Once I was out on stage at the auditions my nervousness just disappeared, and I knew in that moment that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I am really looking forward to the Grand Final on 7 July and to joining the other 20 or so finalists from around the country. Performing at the O2 London really is a dream come true and if I was to win then that would give me the break that every musician hopes for.”

The climax of the competition, the TeenStar 2013 Grand Final will take place on Sunday 7 July 2013 at indigO2, The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX. Good luck Mark!