Kate O'Connell

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The Northern Scot

Kate lines up a series of headline acts

Article Headliners HEADLINERS is a new series of concert events aimed at celebrating and supporting local musical talent.

Each event will showcase a headline act for the night along with other local artists.

Many budding musicians and performers need a supportive environment to help them develop their performance skills and to show off their talent.

The brainchild of Kate O'Connell, professional singer and musician from Burgie, she is a key figure in the Moray music scene.

Over the last 27 years she has collaborated with many local artists and musicians; she has been drawing on this network of artists to develop the series of concert events.

She co-leads the Forres Big Choir for adults, is artistic director of a cappella group Too Many Kooks and other fledgling a cappella groups. She has worked extensively to develop young artists and wishes to create an opportunity locally to allow them to perform in a supportive but professional environment.

Article Headliners She is also a performer in her own right and for this first concert, the headliners are "Sonas", an a cappella world music trio starring Kate along with singer and actress, Heather Hatch of Speyside Drama, Aberlour and director of Rising Stars.

The final member of the trio is Carol Mason-Corkery, singer and leader of Joyful Noise Singers and artistic director of world music group, Mozaic. The night will also see singers Lucy Fredman and Sheila Hull, plus other special up-and-coming teenage talent.

Kate said that "in an era of X factor-type competition, we need musical co-operation – rather than competition – by opening up opportunities to artists of just about any age and any genre".

"I am also encouraging teenage singers to collaborate with professional musicians, like guitarist Jerry Akehurst and percussionist, Carol Scorer."

The idea has been received with great enthousiasm locally and Kate is already making links with other artists and young performers.

She has plans for future events with different hosts, different styles of music and incorporating poetry, stories and more diverse acts.

Headliners will debut next Friday June 28 at 8pm in the refurbished Kinloss Church Hall and tickets are on sale now. More information is available online at www.katesvoices.co.uk

(21 June 2013)

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