A talented young performer from Danderhall has told how her Christmas wish came true.
Ellie De Marco performed for more than 2000 people at the Usher Hall after gaining a place at one of Scotland’s leading performing arts academies.
She was part of The MGA Academy of Performing Arts’ production of A Christmas Wish, which was staged in the run-up to Christmas Day.
The event is run in aid of the charity The MGA Foundation which helps financially disadvantaged young people across Scotland access high-quality training in performing arts.
The uplifting show featured a dazzling array of family friendly festive songs and stunning dance routines. The show, which has been running for six consecutive years, has become a staple of Edinburgh’s pre-Christmas calendar.
Earlier this year Dalkeith High School pupil Ellie successfully auditioned for a place at The MGA Academy’s Fierce Theatre School, which aims to bridge the gap between children’s youth club-style classes and full-time vocational courses for aspiring stage professionals.
The 15-year-old said: “For my audition I had to prepare a solo song and a monologue. I decided to sing I Can Hear the Bells from Hairspray as we did a production of the show at school and I loved it.
“I was quite nervous at first but auditioning was a really fun experience. When I found out I’d been offered a place, I was jumping up and down with excitement.
“I loved performing in A Christmas Wish, it was great show – and the Usher Hall is a huge venue.”
Ellie began dancing at the age of two and started acting when she was just seven.
She explained: “I’ve been dancing since I was a little girl but feel like my technique has really improved since I started at Fierce Theatre Schools. The teachers here are great as they really challenge you to help make you the best performer you can be. My Mum has always encouraged me to do what I love and my dream is to end up working in the musical theatre industry.”
As a Scottish Qualifications Authority Approved Centre, MGA guarantees high standards of training and the opportunity to gain experience and recognised qualifications in performing arts.
Andrew Gowland, Managing Director of The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, said: “A Christmas Wish brought together more than 250 students from both our Junior School and full-time courses for a magical Christmas extravaganza.
“Our Junior School’s new term will begin in January and we would welcome applications from anyone from Midlothian with similar aspirations to Ellie.”