Singer Zoe hitting the high notes...

Zoe Unsworth at Leigh Sports Village
Zoe Unsworth at Leigh Sports Village

A LEIGH high school student might be dreaming of musical fame after a string of high-profile engagements this year but her family is making sure her feet remain firmly on the ground!

Zoe Unsworth is just 13 yet has already sung in front of thousands of sports fans at the borough’s most important events.

She was also the guest of the Mayor of Wigan, Coun Myra Whiteside, at the Queen’s Garden Party held in Manchester to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

The Bedford High School pupil performed at the rugby league Magic Weekend held at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and was in the entertainment line-up when the Olympic Torch Relay passed through the town, attracting thousands of people.

The rest of the year looks equally busy for Zoe, with performances at a number of large charity fund-raisers and a slot supporting local up-and-coming talent at her school’s own music festival together with a Level five exam in musical theatre in July, having previously passed her level four with distinction.

But proud mum Annette said: “It’s a busy time for Zoe but her studies always come first. She is preparing for her GCSE options and obviously the performing arts feature heavily.

“She is very much in demand at the moment and she has been booked to sing at numerous private parties but her ultimate goal is to get into a good performing arts academy and work hard to fulfil her dreams.”

Zoe, who lists Michael Buble and Etta James among her musical influences and whose voice has been compared to Amy Whitehouse and Adele, discovered her singing talent, which has been honed with regular lessons at school, several years ago.

She will be taking to the stage this autumn at a gala event to support bone cancer charities.

However, using her musical talent to raise money to help others is nothing new to Zoe, with previous charity engagements including a slot at he Palace Hotel in Manchester in aid of Destination Florida, a charity which organises once-in-a-lifetime trips to America for children with life-threatening illnesses.

In between the charity work, Zoe will also find time to support her schoolmates by appearing at Bedrock, Bedford High’s forthcoming rock music festival.

Bedford High head teacher Stephen Preston said: “Zoe is a tremendous young talent who is not only blessed with a wonderful voice but has a terrific desire to achieve.

“We’re also extremely proud of all the fantastic work she does for various charities, including Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

“We believe in nurturing young talent and helping our students achieve to the very best of their abilities. Zoe is a fine example of our school’s ethos and we are really pleased to have been part of her success story so far.”