An amazing young soul singer, who turned 12 just the day before the competition, won Harborough’s Got Talent 2015 at the weekend.
The competition has again unearthed someone with genuine, surprising ability in Charlotte Crosier, a pupil at Welland Park Academy.
In front of an audience of 300 at - coincidentally - her own school’s Octagonal Hall, Charlotte sang the torch song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, made famous by Roberta Flack in 1972, more than 30 years before Charlotte was born.
Second in the competition were the excellent, 35-strong Kibworth Ladies Choir, a community choir who defied expectations with a touching version of Radiohead’s early classic Creep.
Third was Lily Almond, from Great Bowden, another talented 12-year-old in a competition with a very young average age. She sang a clear, perky version of Popular from the musical Wicked.
After collecting her winner’s trophy and £500 prize, a delighted Charlotte told The Mail: “It’s been really enjoyable, and I’m really pleased to have won.
“I chose a Roberta Flack song because I love her; she’s amazing. It’s an emotional song to sing, so I think of my parents while I’m singing it.”
Charlotte plays the piano too, but decided against playing it in the final - “too much pressure”.
In the future she said her ambitions were to keep singing, but also to graduate from university with a degree in science.
Yvette Sexton, musical director of second -placed Kibworth Ladies Choir, explained: “The choir was originally formed to raise money for charity, and it’s just grown and grown”.
Choir founder Louise Jones added: “We sing for pleasure, and anyone can join us. It’s been really exciting to sing here - it’s the first time we’ve actually performed on a stage”.
Third-prize winner Lily Almond said: “I have singing lessons, and it was my singing teacher chose a song from Wicked for me. I want to get into musicals.”
There were 17 acts altogether in the final of Harborough’s Got Talent; the winners decided by a combination of audience vote and the votes of the four judges - musician Fay Dean, performing arts lecturer Kim Laughton, theatre artistic director Chris Lynch and Hfm programme controller Chris Jones.
Afterwards, Chris Jones said: “The final was noticeably younger this year, but so many of the youngsters did a great job. Charlotte was a worthy winner though - she just turned in a great performance didn’t she?”
See this week’s Harborough Mail for more photos