A North East vocal coach is gearing up to begin auditions for the biggest online singing competition for young talent, TeenStar.

Julie Miles, founder of Northumberland-based Vocal Ovation, will join a host of industry professionals on the judging panel as the talent show moves to an all-digital platform for the first time.

Alongside BAFTA award-winning host Carrie Grant, Julie will participate in 8 audition shows aired via TeenStar’s YouTube channel which has almost 16,000 subscribers, judging around 25 singers per show. The judging panel will then progress the successful singers into the live stages starting in August.

Julie said: “It’s fantastic to see TeenStar move with the digital age, and during this uncertain time, we’ve needed to utilise social media more than ever.”

“This year marks the seventh time I’ve been on the judging panel for the competition, and it’s a brilliant opportunity for acts to perform live in front of entertainment industry experts, including three major record labels, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Universal Music, and major casting companies.

“I’ll definitely be encouraging my students and any young talent to take part. There really is no better developmental platform than performing alongside other aspiring singers and getting such valuable industry feedback.”

Auditions will begin online from 25th June 2020 where applicants simply record and upload a video of their performance via the TeenStar website. Acts can choose to sing covers or showcase their own original music.

Chris Grayson, founder of TeenStar, said: “We felt it’s important for kids to be able to express and focus on what they love doing during lockdown. They love being on stage and performing and this is the next best thing. The fact we are now able to reach out beyond the UK to the US could create so many more opportunities for these young singers.

“Julie has always played such a valuable role for us at TeenStar. She has a keen eye for talent and an incredible ability to coach promising singers into potential superstars. It is by no means a coincidence or luck that dozens of her students are achieving at such a level. Her willingness to provide an abundance of honest and constructive feedback throughout nearly a decade of our competitions has undoubtedly contributed to the success of hundreds more. We are so grateful to have her on our panel of head judges.”

Finalists of the event will perform live to the panel of judges in hope to win from the £5,000 cash prize pool.

The talent competition attracts over 8,000 acts each year in the search for the best teen and pre-teen singers and includes the discovery of artists such as Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley as well as Courtney Hadwin, student of Julie Miles and finalist of America’s Got Talent.

Julie, who this year celebrates the tenth anniversary of Vocal Ovation, has a raft of TV talent show finalists among her stable of performers, appearing on the likes of The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor. Julie has also reported a 25% growth in the number of students during lockdown.