The search has begun for a new female musical star – to be crowned the first ever Maiden of Music.
Female singers and musicians of every age and style, from all across the country, are invited to come to Dumfries to take part.
The competition is part of the Maidens of Music festival which celebrates and encourages women to make the most of their musical talents.
More than 150 women, including soloists, groups and choirs are expected to participate in the festival, which takes place in Dumfries during every Saturday in May.
The festival was run as a one-off last year, but was so popular that organisers Carol Brotherston, Jo Blain and Linzie Watson, decided to stage it again – and came up with the idea of adding in a competition to find the best performer.
Carol, a professional piano teacher, said: “We are searching for top female musical talent. It’s a great chance for women to come along and show what they can do – with the winner being crowned the 2017 Maiden of Music.”
The festival came about because Carol and her friends believe that with a bit more encouragement and support there are many more women who would really enjoy getting involved with the world of music.
She said: “We love going out to hear live music, but what really struck us was how few female musicians and performers you see out there. And in my work I know that it’s not through lack of talent, but I do think it can often be lack of confidence.
“So what we want to do is to celebrate those who perform, empower women to take to the stage, nurture those who are developing, provide a friendly platform and inspire those who have never tried.
Each week one finalist will be chosen from the performers. The finals will take place on May 27 at The Live Lounge, Dumfries, with the overall winner receiving a special trophy.
This Saturday performers at The Courtyard, Globe Inn, will include 12-year-old Isla Cooper and Susi Briggs and at The Usual Place singer/songwriter Kate Kyle and acoustic duo The Moot are among the acts.
For full details visit www.maidensofmusic.co.uk.