A GROUP of ‘angelic’ singers have been developing their confidence and taking to the stage thanks to their world-class coach.

Angel Voices Performing Arts Academy, based in Darton, runs teaching workshops and private coaching for kids of any age who want to develop their singing and theatrical prowess.

Youngsters are encouraged to develop their natural talent - and build their confidence - to eventually perform on stage for an audience.

They are coached by world-class singer, pianist, dancer and self-described ‘Darton lass’, Debbie Angel, who returned home after performing across Europe to open the school in 2011.

She told the Chronicle: “I came back home from working in Vienna and was very ill.

“It was a lot worse than I thought, and it turned out I had cancer, so I had to step back from touring.

“Then one parent came up to me and asked me if I could work with her daughter - I went to their house and once I heard her I knew we needed to work with her.

“So it all came from there, really.”

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In the years since the group has continued to grow, gaining funding from the Penistone Area Council, performing at Penistone Arts Week and working with community environmentalist company Greenotes.

Students at the group have gone on to achieve great things, with one now attending the Royal Northern College of Music, as Debbie helps youngsters find the right future in music for them.

“We want to help get them to the right university, conservatoire or to start their own company playing at pubs and other live venues,” Debbie added.

“With the academy I had people come in who wouldn’t get up to sing.

“They knew they had a voice, but lacked the confidence to show it.

“So it’s not just about working on skills, it’s also about helping build up their confidence.

“We did a show at Penistone Paramount recently and there was some amazing talent.

“I’ve worked with some fabulous people in the past, but there are kids here as young as four who blew me and everyone else away.”