On 19 March, Pershore’s Number 8 Community Arts Centre was packed for the exciting finale of this year’s W-Factor competition.
The event saw 16 young people from across Wychavon compete in front of family and friends for the accolade of being crowned a winner in one of the five categories.
Once again the judges, who included dance specialist Emma Ford and singer Tracy Norman, found it challenging to select the winners. But in the end the winners were:
Singing under 15s category: Ciaran Baker, aged 12, from Evesham (St Egwin’s Middle School) won as “he is a great natural talent with strong vocals and engaged the audience well”.
Singing over 15s category: Matthew Scott, aged 18, from Evesham (The De Montfort School) won as “he has excellent vocal quality and performed it with good execution”.
Drama category: Evelyn Gill, aged 14, from Droitwich Spa (Droitwich Spa High School) won as “she delivered her monologue well with good diction and emotion behind the words”.
Dance category: Scarlett Godwin, aged 12, and Gracie Ball, also aged 12, (from Bredon Hill Academy) won as “they had great fluidity, levels of movement and the staging was good”.
Ensemble category: Joshua Harris, aged 14, from Evesham (The De Montfort School) and Lucy Gidley, also aged 14 (Droitwich High School) won as “they had lovely harmonies and great voices”.
Jenny Davis, Arts Development Officer at Wychavon District Council, said: “It was a fantastic evening and the competition was as a tough as ever. The talent and passion of the young people taking part was evident to all. It’s been wonderful to see the performers grow in confidence following on from the auditions. Although not everyone could be selected as a winner, every participant has achieved so much by getting through to the final stage of the competition and we would want to encourage those that didn’t win to try again next year.”
Matthew Scott, who won in the singing over 15s category, said: “The honour of winning the W-Factor will be with me for the rest of my life, as it was the first time I had performed in front of so many people. Sharing the enjoyment I had with so many talented young people has truly showed me how important an event such as the W-Factor can be and I hope that others who enter the competition in years to come find it just as exciting as I did. I cannot wait for the opportunities that come after the competition. The W-Factor truly is where dreams are made.”
Emma Ford, the W-Factor singing judge, said: “It was fantastic – a really high standard. I couldn’t believe how young some of them were to be able to perform to such a high standard.”
Holly Page, dance category finalist, said: “I loved it. It’s given me so much more confidence.”
The W-Factor winners will receive assistance with further training and will be invited to perform at events across Wychavon throughout the year.