A TEENAGE singing sensation who made her professional stage debut at the age of 11 has made it through to the area final of one of the UK’s largest singing competitions.

Tabitha Jade Hayles, from Caldy, impressed judges at the Liverpool regional final of TeenStar on Sunday and is now gearing up for her next performance in the next round – which takes her one step closer to a £5,000 cash prize and an extensive publicity package.

The 13-year-old – who landed a part in Liverpool Empire Theatre’s production of South Pacific back in 2012 – wowed the judges with one of her own original songs.

TeenStar is the UK’s first and only singing competition exclusively for teenagers and pre-teens and has discovered artists including Birdy, Lucy Spraggan and last year’s X-Factor finalist, Luke Friend.

It hopes to find the best young singers and rappers of all genres, who perform either covers or original material.

Tabitha, who as well as singing and writing her own lyrics, enjoys nothing more than playing her acoustic guitar.

She has a passion for acting and dancing, making her professional stage debut in Liverpool Empire Theatre’s production of South Pacific at the age of just 11.

The Upton Girls Grammar School pupil, who only took up the vocal art 18 months ago, is now preparing to take to the stage in Manchester on May 18.

She will be joined by proud parents Michael and Julie, who say Tabitha “comes to light” on stage.

“There were 400 people at the regional finals in Liverpool, the judges picked out five contestants initially and Tabitha was first to be picked,” said dad Michael.

“She seemed to go down very well – it’s very exciting.

“The next stop is Manchester where there are expected to be more than 500 people and then she’s just one step away from London – it’s all happening.”

Tabitha also won studio time with TeenStar Regional studio partner Vizea Sound after winning the exposure award.

And away from the competition, Tabitha performed on radio station 7Waves for a show due to be aired on March 21.

The semi final of TeenStar takes place at Royal Northern College of Music Operate Theatre, Manchester on May 18.

For more information, and tickets, visit teenstarcompetition.co.uk