A BARRY schoolgirl aiming for the stars has won a prestigious musical theatre competition and the chance to learn from West End star Connie Fisher.

Jodi Bird, 16, recently won the grand final of the Star of Stage musical theatre competition after wowing a judging panel of musical celebrities and industry experts at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.

The teenager, currently studying for her GCSEs at Ysgol Bro Morgannwg, won her senior age category and the overall crown and was rewarded with a £3,000 prize pool that included £500 cash, a scholarship to 'The Connie Fisher Academy', a private lesson with Connie Fisher, a professional photo shoot and a recording package in a London studio with Auburn Jam Music.

Jodi is also set to enjoy a master-class with a professional director, a performance at the Wales Millennium Centre as part of the Cardiff Music Festival 2014, and management from K Talent at its London offices.

Jodi, who attends the performance arts group SuperStars in the Making in Barry, said she was in shock when she won the competition.

“I was a bit gobsmacked and had my mouth wide open,” she said.

“It was one of my best moments I’ve ever had and I was completely taken aback.”

Judges for the competition included West End star Connie Fisher, director of Star of Stage Daniel O'Gorman, director of Barry-based SuperStars Christian Bullen, Only Men Aloud’s David Mahoney and vocal coach Louise Ryan.

She wowed them with her performance of 'The Girl in 14G', that was originally written for 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'.

“I had some nice comments from Connie Fisher and didn’t really have any negative feedback,” said Jodi.

“Winning it was a real achievement as there were some amazing judges.”

Jodi, of Andrew Road, Penarth, who performed in front of Simon Cowell in Britain’s Got Talent last year, writes her own music and performs at functions all over the country, but her ambition is to appear on the stage in the West End and produce and perform her own music.

“I have always wanted to sing since I was a little girl,” she said. “It’s been a natural thing and the only thing I wanted to do.”

She added: “I’ve always looked up to the likes of Eva Cassidy, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and Barbara Streisand.

“When I perform their roles I like to make them my own.

“I would love to be on the West End and have my music performed and to do what I love as a career.”

Mum Vanessa added that Jodi had always been singing and dancing since she was two years old and that she knew Jodi was “destined for the stage” after one of her first school performances.

“The performance had finished and everyone on stage was bowing, but then I realised 100 heads had turned around to look at me,” she said.

“I looked at the stage and Jodi was just doing jazz hands and I realised then she was destined for the stage.”

Last Saturday, February 22, Jodi also reached the final of the ‘Welsh Musical Theatre Young Singer of the Year’ competition with the chance to win first prize of £1,000.

“We are thrilled that Jodi is through to the final,” said Vanessa.

“It’s really incredible for a number of reasons, considering the age gap and the standard of the applicants, so we are very proud of her.”

Jodi, who is the youngest competitor in the competition that is open to 16 to 28-year-olds, was chosen as one of the four finalists to take part in the final on Saturday, April 12, at Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea.