Top councillor 'blown away' after witnessing Bay's talented youth
THE Bay's largest showcase of talented youngsters has inspired plans for an arts centre.
Cllr Kevin Carroll, who said he was 'blown away' by the talent on show, wants to look at ways of providing more for enthusiastic youngsters.
He judged the Performer of the Year competition on Tuesday night.
He said: "You could have shut your eyes and thought you were in the West End.
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"I was astounded that we have got such talent in the Bay."
Cllr Carroll was so impressed that he immediately contacted Torbay Council chief executive, Elizabeth Raikes, and head of children's services, Carol Tozer.
"We need to find ways of harnessing this talent," he said.
"We have high teenage pregnancy and low self esteem in the Bay.
"I believe that singing, dancing and being on the stage is a fantastic way of building confidence and that has got to help young people."
Cllr Carroll said that there is no money available in council coffers, but that the authority could look at ways of attracting outside funding.
"We need to get round the table to see what and how this could be done," he said.
The Torbay Schools Festival of Performing Arts involves more than a thousand students and performers from schools and organisations.
The opening night featured a battle to win the coveted Festival Musician of the Year title.
The winners in each of the categories so far were:
Primary Section: Edward Hendry of Marldon Primary School , percussion.
Senior Section: Hannah Williams of Torquay Girls Grammar School, piano.
Most Promising: Anna Darby of Westlands School, French Horn.
Special Commendation certificate, Felix Nicholls, Sherwell Valley School, piano.
The Performer of the Year competition winners were:
Primary Section, Chloe Soby, Sherwell Valley School.
Junior Section, Lucy Pike, Westlands School.
Senior Section, Rachel Jones, South Devon College.
Most promising, Emily Kindon of St Cuthbert Mayne.
Last night the Riviera International Centre played host to a number of performances from schools for the first mixed festival night.
Performances continue this evening before showcases on Saturday.