YOUNG hopefuls sang their hearts out at Swindon Academy yesterday for a chance to appear on The Voice.

More than a dozen students plucked up the courage to perform, including 16-year-old Jess Pike from Pinehurst.

She said: "It was my first time singing in front of strangers, I was a bit nervous but I just cracked on with it and I smashed it, I feel great.

"I've been singing for a couple of years, I have a lot of support from my friends and family.

"I'm autistic and the song that I sang, 'Already Over' by Red, expresses my feelings and listening to it calms me down when something bad happens."

Leigh Matthews, head of music and curriculum leader for the performing arts at Swindon Academy, said: "She's done brilliantly, her confidence has improved so much since year 7."

Pop group Pik'n'Mix have sung together for two years since winning a battle of the bands competition in Year 11.

Millie McKenzie, Aaron Chumber, Connor Newdick, and Hollie Morris have played gigs around town and will all go on to study performing arts at university.

Holly and Connor made it through several rounds of auditions last year but not far enough to sing in front of the superstar judges, so they're singing solo again this year and as part of Pik'n'Mix.

Holly said: "It's always nerve-wracking, but it's not as bad as it would have been if we'd done this at the start of sixth form, we've grown as performers and we've been practicing a lot so hopefully we will see improvements."

Miss Matthews added: "It's really exciting to have The Voice here. our performing arts department is thriving and full of talent.

"Last year, we entered two students and the show got in touch again this year and said they'd enjoyed their visit and wanted to come back.

"I wish all the students every success, I'm a very proud music teacher."

Talent scouts are searching schools around the country for youngsters with star quality to compete inThe Voice's 2019 series.

Students were given five minutes to showcase their singing and chat about their lives and ambitions. Footage of this will be watched by the show’s top executive producers in London before they pick people to put through to preliminary auditions.

An ITV spokesman said: “Following the success of our last series and the crowning of Ruti as our winner, The Voice UK is now scouting for local talent for our 2019 series.

“We are looking for solo singers, duos and - new for this series - trios. If you think you have what it takes, please apply.”

Singers need to be 16 years of age on or before October 1 2018. For more information, visit