SPOTTED aged seven at her village school, a 23-year-old singer is now heading to perform at the famous Royal Albert Hall in London.

Sabden mezzo-soprano Samantha Oxborough last month won the Geraint Morris Award, an annual Welsh competition for talented young voices in Neath.

Now she has been invited to perform as one of the soloists at the ‘Festival of Massed Choirs’ at the home of the BBC Proms on May 19.

Samantha’s vocal and musical talent was first seen by music teacher David Wilkinson at Sabden Primary School aged seven and was soon performing with Pendle Youth Choir as well as playing the euphonium for the Slaidburn Silver and Burnley Alliance Bands.

Now postgraduate at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire she took her Cornish guitarist and fellow student Alex Roche to Neath Town Hall with a sheaf of Spanish and old English songs.

Samantha said: “As we set off to audition for the award, Alex and I never expected to walk away as winners.

“I am so honoured to receive this memorial award and would like to thank Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for preparing me for this audition by supplying me with countless performance opportunities and also introducing me to my duo partner, Alex.

“Performing at the Royal Albert Hall is my dream and I cannot wait for it to become a reality!”

Her mother Sheila said: “My husband John and I are so proud of her.

“When we heard her sing for the first time at Sabden school we had no idea of her talent. I’ve no idea where her voice came from.”

Samantha is currently studying a postgraduate certificate in ‘Vocal Performance’ at the Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, after graduating with a first class degree in Music.

Samantha was nominated for the award by the Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir after performing at their St David’s Day Concert in Oxford earlier this year.

Sharron Jenkinson, its Events Secretary, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled for Samantha. She is amazingly talented and I’m sure she has a glittering career ahead of her. To perform at the Royal Albert Hall at only 23-years-old is a huge achievement.”

She will receive her award at the Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir’s Annual Autumn Concert at Oxford Town Hall on 21st October.