A BUDDING young musician and a York singer-songwriter will be joining forces in a charity concert to raise money for The Press's Guardian Angels appeal.

Ruby Paul held auditions last week in search of a soloist to accompany her in a concert on Tuesday, April 8, in the basement bar at City Screen.

Ruby auditioned seven girls and chose 16-year-old Natasha Merritt, a pupil at Huntington School, as the winner.

Together they will raise funds for a new high-dependency unit at York Hospital, which will reduce the need for seriously-ill children in York to be transferred to hospitals further afield.

Ruby said: "The Search for the Voice of an Angel has uncovered a wealth of young talent. The standard was very high, with many of the applicants having entered previous competitions in York and been placed highly.

"I was spoilt for choice for my support act, but decided on Natasha as the winner. She sang her own song with a catchy refrain entitled Shut Up And Listen To Me, all about making her own way in the music business."

Natasha, who says she is influenced by performers like Kate Nash and Corinne Bailey Rae, accompanies herself on the piano. She has previously sung in school concerts and at St Andrew's Church.

Natasha has produced a CD of her own original songs which will be on sale on the night of the concert and she will be donating a percentage of the takings to The Guardian Angels appeal.

Ruby said: "I greatly enjoyed conducting the competition and meeting the young singers, whose talent and commitment was really inspiring."

Ruby, who will be performing her single, Miracle Baby, said she wanted to support our appeal because, as a parent, she realised how important it was to have the lifesaving facilities in York.

She said: "I wanted to support Guardian Angels because I had my baby through IVF and although Jennifer was a healthy baby, I can identify with parents who have been through the mill.

"I want to offer my support to other mothers and I felt this was a good way of doing so."

To make a donation to othe appeal, send cheques or postal orders made out to The Press Guardian Angels appeal, to Guardian Angels, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York, YO1 9YN. You can also help fund the new unit by logging on to www.comfortzonetheband.com and downloading Guardian Angel, a charity single that is raising money for our appeal.

Tickets for the event on April 8 cost £4 from the City Screen box office or from www.picturehouses.co.uk