Does ex-student Abi have the X Factor?
9th September 2013
Returning to College after the weekend, the big topic of conversation among students and staff was former student Abi Alton’s show stealing performances on the X Factor.
Abi, 19, studied A Levels at Prior Pursglove College between 2010 and 2012, achieving an A grade in English Language, a B in Geography and a C in Photography.
She wowed the judges, Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, on Saturday night’s show at the initial audition before being invited to perform in front of a 4,000 strong audience at Wembley that was shown on Sunday. Abi sang a tune that she had written herself and earned a standing ovation from the crowd.
Principal Judy Burton said, “Everyone at Prior Pursglove College is immensely proud of Abi’s achievements, her X Factor auditions were phenomenal. The students and staff at the College wish her every success for the competition.”
Music teacher Helen Kirk said, “Abi was truly dedicated to her Music whilst studying at Prior Pursglove College. She regularly performed at College concerts and returned last Christmas to play for the Christmas celebrations. Her enthusiasm and ability for writing and performing songs made her stand out from the crowd. When Abi sings she transfixes her audience. I’m really excited for her.”
Students Kate Hall, George Scott, Jonny McNulty, Lucy James and Ellie Armstrong (pictured below right) were discussing Abi’s performance during their free period in the College’s refurbished Student Services Area.
17 year old Ellie watched Abi perform and said, “Her voice blew me away! She was outstanding. I think she could win!”
Jonny, also 17, caught up with the performances on Youtube. He said, “It was great how powerful she was in front of the big crowd at Wembley.”
18 year old Katie Baggott also enjoyed the performances. “The whole area will be proud. It’s good to see that Abi came to Prior, it makes you realise what you can go on and achieve,” said Katie, who wants to study forensic chemistry at University.
Steve Bury, Abi’s Geography teacher, commented, “Abi was a superb student – very hardworking, completely reliable and diligent towards all of her studies and interests.
“Abi has been singing and songwriting from an early age. She is an original thinker with a perceptive outlook – no wonder she made such an impression with her own music on the X Factor live auditions. She is completely genuine and very sweet natured, a pleasure to teach.”
The praise doesn’t end there, as Abi’s former English teacher Natalie Scott recalled, “Abi was always an excellent English Language student but I didn’t realise how talented a musician she was until I saw her perform at one of the College’s Christmas concerts. She performed a song she’d written herself, singing in a beautiful, plaintive voice that captivated everyone. When I saw her in class the next day I said to her: ‘You’ll go a long way with a voice like that!’ She smiled. She was always very modest but quietly determined. I wish her the best of luck for the X Factor.”
Performing Arts Technician Les Verrill knew Abi, pictured left, well, as he assisted her setting up during shows and performances at the College. Les said, “The first time I heard Abi sing I was speechless, it was jaw-droppingly good!
“Before a show she was always a little nervous, but when she started singing you wouldn’t have known it. She is completely genuine and I’m sure she will go a long way.”
Upon hearing about the comments from her former teachers and the support from current students Abi contacted the College to say, “Thanks for the lovely words, I am truly touched by them. It really means a lot coming from the people you know! I hope to carry on making everyone at Prior proud.”
Abi’s older brother Daniel also studied at Prior Pursglove College, leaving in 2009 to study Accounting and Finance at Durham University.
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