Triumphant performance from budding stage stars and musician

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MUSICAL performers Amara Okereke and Megan Gilbert took time out from their busy rehearsal schedule for West Side Story to celebrate exam success.

Amara from Adel, who plays the lead Maria in the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) production at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, achieved seven A*s, two As and a B, while Megan from Barwick in Elmet, who plays the supporting role of Rosalia in the musical, picked up nine A*s and an A. The pupils celebrated their success at the Grammar School at Leeds yesterday.

The girls are part of a cast of just 40 selected from more than 1,000 applicants.

For both girls it is their second season with the NYMT, which casts its shows from the most talented young performers across the UK. Another musical talent celebrating success at the Leeds school was tenor James Micklethwaite who achieved 10 A*s.

It follows a string of musical awards this year. He won the coveted Young Musician of the Festival at the Harrogate Music Festival in April where he was also awarded the open oratorio, British composer and Silver Rose Bowl competitions.

James followed up his Harrogate success by sweeping the board at the Rothwell Music Festival where he won three singing classes and the piano recital class before going on to win the play-off for best instrumentalist.

James, from Alwoodley, who has performed with Opera North on a number of occasions, was also recently awarded the highest grade in a diploma from the Royal Schools of Music when he gained a distinction for his singing.