The Voice Castlewellan hoping to find singing stars in aid of MyMy charity

The Voice Castlewellan hoping to find singing stars in aid of MyMy charity

14 August 2019

A CALL for the district’s best singers to take part in a Castlewellan version of the hit ITV talent show The Voice has been made.

A local family has organised the singing competition over the summer which will culminate in a grand finale next month in aid of Newcastle-based mental health charity, Mind Your Mate and Your Yourself (MyMy).

The Ross family, who live in the wider Castlewellan area, are running the competition in memory of Stephen Ross who died by suicide last July.

His brother, Ryan, said: “Stephen died on July 18 last year at the age of 42. 

“We wanted to do something as a family and because I’ve volunteered with MyMy over the last few years, we agreed to raise money for it as it does great local work and that their doors are open.

“What some people don’t realise is that they can just lift the phone and phone them – there will be somebody there to talk to you and they will do anything they can to help you.

“My sister, Jacqui Ross, was the first one to get it off the ground and somehow I’ve become a compere but it’s really a family effort.”

Stephen was one of six siblings and a father-of-two. His family say that the singing context is a fitting tribute to him as he loved to sing.

So far four heats have already been held at the Kings Inn in Castlewellan since June with the last two heats planned for this Friday night and Friday, August 30. The final will be held on Friday, September 13 — two days after when Stephen would have turned 43.

While the judges have included resident UTV presenter Marc Mallet and BBC NI producer Maggie Doyle, this Friday Marc will be joined by 13 year-old singer Conor Marcus, from Loughisland.

Conor made it into the semi-finals of The Voice Kids and will perform on the night, as well as judging.

The Shimna College student has been in big demand ever since the programme highlighted his talent.

Other judges have included local singers Brian Weir, a popular Michael Buble tribute singer and local singers Nuala McEvoy, Dootsy Ferris, Tracey Grant and Pearl McClure.

Sean explained that the competition is run on the same lines as the TV original with the singers performing to the backs of the judges.

“The contestants need to get two of the judges to turn around for them to be considered to go through to the next stage,” said Ryan.

“We normally have two from each heat going through but we have 13 at the moment as the judges could not decide on only two for the last heat.”

Ryan added that over £1,500 has been raised so far and his family hope that they will have raised around £5,000 after the final.

Aside for helping to raise money for MyMy with contestants paying £10 per entry, the winner gets a recording session at Hillside Studio in Loughinisland and a glass trophy donated by Cliomack Glass in Hilltown.

To enter just come along on the heat date before 9pm and to make a donation go to