PERFORMING in front of a crowd is a frightening prospect for many, but for one Astley teenager singing is helping her confidence on and off the stage.

Alex Semtyshin was always shy and quiet compared to her 10-year-old boisterous brother Ashton, according to mum Karen, but singing lessons and performing at school and in competitions are bringing Alex out of her shell.

So much so that Alex is now through to the regional finals of the national singing competition TeenStar.

Karen, of Dunmail Close, said: “I am so proud of her, it is like she has finally found something that she is good at.

“She was so shy and quiet and then, the Christmas before last, we were all messing about singing and Alex just came out with this incredibly theatrical voice.

“She entered a few competitions and all the judges said she was good, but she needed to project and get used to being on the stage so we got her some singing lessons.

“Recently she won a talent competition at school and she was the lead in the school play and now she is through to the regional finals.

“Her brother is also the lead in his school play, but he was born to be on the stage. He is the opposite of Alex but singing has really changed her. It is helping her to grow into a stronger, more confident person.”

Alex will perform at the regional event at The Royal Northern College of Music Opera Theatre in Manchester on March 16, after beating the competition in the first round two weeks ago.

The 13-year-old will hope to be one of the few shortlisted by the judges, before her chances of getting to the final and winning a vast array of prizes are put in the hands of the audience.