The Littleborough singer is a BBC semi-finalist

Opera singer

A singer from Littleborough, Rochdale is a semi-finalist of the prestigious BBC Young Chorister of the Year competition.

Mila Tsoneva, 14, was entered into the competition by her voice teacher at Wells Cathedral School in Somerset, where she has a scholarship.

She got the scholarship to study as a specialist singer in 2019 and dreams of being an opera singer.

After sending a video, Mila was one of five other girls and five boys chosen to sing in Songs of Praise, broadcast from Salisbury Cathedral.

It will air on BBC 1 on November 21, with the final broadcast on December 5 – the winner is currently under embargo.

A proud mother of two, Emma Tsoneva, 45, of Littleborough, said: “Mila was previously a chorister at Manchester Cathedral and trained with voice teacher Daniel Howard in Whitworth.

“She was a chorister at the cathedral from the age of 10 and stayed there for three years.

“The cathedral had a Be a Chorister for a Day event and we went one afternoon.

“She loved it and had to do two auditions with the cathedral.”

Through her post at the cathedral, Mila attended Cheetham’s School of Music.

Emma added: “She has been singing since she was a little girl in elementary school.

“She really liked music and singing.

“She has always been in nativity plays and always had a passion for singing.

“She also had singing lessons locally.

“It was really exciting for her to get the scholarship because she wants to be an opera singer when she grows up.

“It’s the right thing for her to do because it’s quite exclusive – she’s the only one in her year to have this scholarship.

“It’s very exciting for her and we’re very proud of her, but it’s pretty sad that it’s so far away.

“It’s a national competition – we went to Salisbury for four days to record and we had so much fun.

“Mila is very excited and can’t wait to see herself on TV.

“She is very happy to have come this far and everything has gone so well.”

Mila’s little sister April, 9, is following in her sister’s footsteps as she has now become a choir singer at Manchester Cathedral.

The girl’s father, Larry Tsoneva, 51, previously sang in a band.