Gentoo’s Genfactor competition is back. This is the ninth year the talent competition has taken place and 13 talented acts from Sunderland will take the stage this December.

Organised by housing association, Gentoo, this talent competition is designed to give young people the opportunity to showcase their talents. By taking part they learn new skills, meet new people and gain confidence by performing in front of a live audience.

Some of Sunderland’s most talented young performers aged 11-18 have been named as Jorja Horner (Dancer), Niamh Henderson (Singer), Jane Usher (Singer), Alessia Fortunato (Dancer), Daisy Pringle (Singer), Katie Chambers (Singer), Denton Robinson (Singer/Guitarist), India Mason (Singer), Anne-Marie Gray (Singer), Sophie Bulmer (Musical Theatre), Tahnee Kelly (Singer), Jessica Dale (Singer) and Lucy Bulmer (Dancer).

These acts will perform in front of more than 1,000 people at Rainton Meadows Arena with judges deciding who will be crowned the Genfactor 2017 winner. Judges include Martin Longstaff, Lake Poets Frontman, West End star Brandon Lee Sears, Sun FMs Simon and Dani and previous Genfactor winner Liam Jones. As well as watch all of the finalists perform, the crowd will also be entertained by Houghton Area Youth Band and last year’s winners Saturn Highway. The finalists will also open the event with a classic Christmas song.

Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director, Gentoo said: “The amount of talent to come out of the city since we launched the Genfactor has been amazing. It’s great to watch young people’s confidence grow and we are so proud of all of our Genfactor finalists and of their achievements. We can’t wait to showcase the talents of our 2017 finalists. I hope the competition continues to inspire future generations and open new opportunities for young emerging talent made in Sunderland.”

A number of businesses are supporting this initiative this year including Gentoo Homes, Sunderland City Council, Ashmore, Grundfos and Sunderland’s Business Improvement District. If you are a local business and would like to sponsor an act, enjoy a night of entertainment and an evening meal please contact Kelly Gleadow, Communications Manager on 0191 525 5546 or email   kelly.gleadow@gentoogroup.com.

Individual tickets are £2 each. Advance booking required. To order your tickets contact Janette Worlock on 0191 525 5203 or email janette.worlock@gentoogroup.com.

To find out more about the Genfactor visit www.gentoogroup.com/genfactor

Photo caption: Finalists with Gentoo staff at their first rehearsal

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