This article was published in 2009.

Martin House Children’s Hospice are this month launching Centre Stage, a musical talent competition for over 150 secondary schools across West Yorkshire that has the support of Leeds band The Pigeon Detectives.

Through the competition Leeds students will be competing to play live at both Leeds and Reading Festivals 2010 and to spend time producing their music in one of the country’s top recording studios.

Centre Stage is being launched by Leeds band Pigeon Detectives, who are currently writing their new album. Matt Bowman said, “It’s very hard for new bands to get known. To play at Leeds and Reading Festival is a once in a lifetime dream opportunity! It is also heartening to know that these kids are raising money to help terminally ill children and young people.”

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic and promoter of the annual Leeds Festival added, “Festival Republic is delighted to offer the students of West Yorkshire the opportunity to play at Leeds and Reading Festival 2010. We’re looking forward to hearing some of the exciting and fresh young talent coming through what promises to be a fantastic competition, all in support of Martin House Children’s Hospice.”

Martin House Children’s Hospice cares for over 300 children and young people with life limiting conditions and supports over 100 bereaved families every year. Through Centre Stage they aim to inspire students and encourage them to discover and develop their musical talent.

Each school will host their own internal talent competition and the winning act will secure a place at the Centre Stage heats.

The competition will give singers and bands the opportunity to play in front of an audience of music industry professionals at the Grand Final in July 2010, as well as the chance to perform at the festival.