Young Wigan musicians' dream gig singing with superstar Phil Collins at top US charity ball

Emily Pearce (left) and Georgia Linde with Phil Collins
Emily Pearce (left) and Georgia Linde with Phil Collins

Two talented young Wigan musicians enjoyed a dream trip to America to perform at a star-studded charity ball hosted by global superstar Phil Collins.

Emily Pearce and Georgia Linde sang with the Grammy-award winning solo artist and ex-member of Genesis at Dreaming on the Beach, a black-tie gala in Florida organised by The Little Dreams Foundation, which Collins runs with his wife Orianne.

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Emily, 16, and 13-year-old Georgia were talent spotted at Wigan Youth Zone and given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity thanks to the charity’s UK arm which is in a partnership with OnSide Youth Zones.

Before taking to the stage in front of 2,500 people in Miami they enjoyed three days of professional voice coaching with Betty Wright, whose clients including Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and Tom Jones.

Nikki Varley, head of youth arts at the Parson’s Walk facility, put Georgia and Emily forward for an audition and was thrilled they were able to cross the pond and perform.

She said: “It has been an absolutely amazing experience for the girls to be invited to such a prestigious event in Miami and to perform on stage with a legend such as Phil Collins. Emily and Georgia had both been working extremely hard in the recording studio at Wigan Youth Zone and I

really believed they had the potential to go on to achieve big things, which has deservedly been recognised by Phil and Orianne, too.

“Like many young people they just need the opportunity to help fulfil their aspirations and we hope that this experience will give them the platform to do so.

“Everyone at the Youth Zone is incredibly proud of their achievements and we know that with their talent and continued support from Little Dreams Foundation UK, we’ll continue to see amazing things from them both.”

The event had an enviable guest list with philanthropists and top talent scouts from the music industry there.

And Emily and Georgia’s talent certainly made an impression Stateside.

Orianne Collins said: “This year we are very happy because we wanted to show what we are doing in the UK, so we brought two little dreamers from Wigan, Georgia Linde and Emily Pearce, so everyone can discover them and their talents.”

Terry Byrne, Little Dreams Foundation president, said: “Georgia and Emily stood shoulder to shoulder with their peers from around the globe and did the UK proud as they performed with Phil and his world-class band.

“This is just the start of the LDF journey for them.”

The foundation has provide funding for Emily and Georgia to receive twice-weekly singing lessons and mentorship and will continue to support the duo.

Both are hoping to make it in the music business with Emily dreaming of representing the UK at Eurovision and Georgia hoping to become a singer-songwriter.