TWO siblings from South Tyneside are proving that musical talent runs in the family – after hitting a high note to reach the next stage of a prestigious singing contest.
Singing starlets Sasha and David France were both on song to come through tough competition, to earn a spot in the regional finals of the TeenStar competition next month.
Sasha is a unique singer and David is a great entertainerDavid France (Sasha and David’s dad)
The gifted duo, who live in Randolph Street, Jarrow, with dad David and mum Erin, both impressed judges at an open audition held at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle earlier this year – with both aiming to score a place in the national final to boost their efforts to carve out musical careers.
Dad David says Sasha, 11, and 10-year-old David were happy to share top billing – though he admits there is a healthy family rivalry between the two.
Mr France, 42, said: “We are excited that they have both made it through to the regional final.
“There were a lot of children taking part in the open auditions. Sasha and David each had 90 seconds to sing a song, with the judges then deciding whether to put them through.
“It does put them under a lot of pressure. We are just really proud of them both.
“There is a little bit of competition between them, but they are happy that they both got through.”
Sasha reached the national final of the TeenStar competition last year – and is hoping to repeat her success in 2015.
She has already built up a wealth of experience on stage since taking up singing at the age of eight, while David has proved a natural entertainer since following in her footsteps last year.
Sasha performed a song she has co-written at the audition, I’m All Alone, a heartfelt tribute to her six-year-old brother Declan, who suffers from verbal dyspraxia, a muscle condition which limits his ability to speak.
Sasha has overcome her own health battles after staging a remarkable recovery from two operations – at just 11 days and 11 weeks old – to repair a hole in her heart and a coarctation of the aorta, thanks to staff at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
She showed her gratitude by singing at the first-ever Heart and Soul charity event last year, held in aid of the hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit Fund.
Sasha did double duty at the extravaganza, held at the Paddy Freeman Fields in Heaton, Newcastle, on Sunday, as she also took part in a 1.5km charity run along with brothers David and Declan.
David earned the thumbs-up at the audition with his version of Bruno Mars track, Uptown Funk.
Dad David added: “Sasha is a unique singer and David is a great entertainer.
“It started when he got up and tried karaoke.
“He enjoyed it so much he has kept on singing.
TeenStar is open to singers aged under 12 to 19 years old, with the overall winner bagging a £5,000 prize as well as recording time at some of the country’s top studios.