A talented singer/songwriter who recently wowed an audience at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is launching an open mic night to inspire young musicians.
Katie O’Neil (17), from Bishopbriggs, who goes by the stage name of Katee Kross, performed recently at the concert hall as part of a showcase of new talent at the Celtic Connections festival.
Katie, who regularly plays in pubs in Bishopbriggs and Lennoxtown, told the Herald: “I felt really honoured to be playing at such a well-known festival where many acts have appeared.
“It was a really good crowd to sing for. I played a few covers like ‘Travelling Soldier’ by The Dixie Chicks, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and ‘Vincent’ by Don McLean, but I also played an original song called ‘Promises’, which was really special.”
Now the talented teenager wants to help others get their big break by running a regular open mic night for performers under the age of 18 at the Crow Tavern, in Bishopbriggs.
They will run on the last Sunday of every month from 5pm-7pm and it’s hoped youngsters and their families will turn out in force.
In her spare time Katie also works as a guitar tutor for youngsters up to the age of 12.
She said: “It’s a really good thing to do, teaching someone. I’ve been playing since I was three or four. My dad teaches at the Bishopbriggs School of Music, so it’s something that has definitely been passed down to me.”
The lessons and open mic night are just part of what looks like being a busy year for Katie, who has been invited back to a variety of festivals she played in 2014 - including Lochwinnoch, Linlithgow, Strathyre and Kirkintilloch.
She said: “I really want to focus on getting as many gigs as I can and try to get my face known so that people remember who I am. The calendar is filling up quite quickly so far.”
Katie’s work ethic has given her a whole series of amazing experiences, with one memorable occasion seeing her work with legendary Scottish musician Dougie MacLean at the Amber Music Festival, in Perthshire.
She said: “He’s so down to earth. The festival is held in the village of Dunkeld and he just walks around the shops like anyone else.
“People come all the way from America and Canada to go to the festival, so it was a really good experience.”
Check out the Crow Tavern’s Facebook site for details of the open mic night.