Students from Midland Academies Trust (MAT) schools raised the roof at Hartshill School yesterday evening as part of the first ever ‘MAT’s Got Talent’ competition. Hosted by TV’s Jordan Charles, who also performed songs during the evening, the winners were named as Sophie Ludgate, Lewis Sharrod, Sophie Williamson and Emily Holt from the George Eliot school with their drama performance, ‘Gregory Gotch’. Solo singer Tia Smith from Heath Lane Academy won second place.
Performances included solo singing and a choir, Irish dancing, and a piano recital by talented students from the George Eliot School, the Nuneaton Academy, Hartshill School and Heath Lane Academy.
Jordan Charles, originally from Nuneaton, shot to fame as a contestant on BBC1’s ‘Let it Shine’ competition, run by Gary Barlow, and has also gained exposure as a talent judge on the BBC’s ‘All Together Now’ reality show.
Jordan led an afternoon rehearsal session in which four acts from each of the MAT schools practised for the evening’s final. Finalists had already succeeded in auditions at the heat stages within their individual schools. Jordan gave them feedback on how they could improve, providing useful hints and tips to wow the judges, which included the MAT’s Chief Executive, Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, and Ros McMullen, Executive Principal, and members of the MAT corporation.
Ros McMullen said, “We were extremely impressed with the high standard of the students’ performances and are very grateful to Jordan Charles for his valuable professional advice.
“We run a range of competitions throughout the year, including in engineering, science and cookery, which bring our schools together. This year, for the first time, we have given budding performers a chance to show off their skills in front of a live audience including parents and friends.
“Competitions are an excellent way of enabling students to practice real-world skills including performing under pressure. They learn resilience and gain confidence from the experience of measuring their talents against those of their peers.
“We are exceptionally proud of the commitment our students have shown fantastic in pulling the show together over lunchtimes and after school. Students from every year group in all our schools have taken part and it has been great to see them working so closely together and becoming a great team.”