A TALENTED Keighley teenager has been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a top performing arts festival in America.

Fraser Campbell-McDonald – a pupil at The Hammond, Chester – is one of just 15 students selected to take part in the acclaimed French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, New York, next June.

Now the 14-year-old has begun efforts to raise the £2,000 needed to participate in the dream experience.

He has cleared out cupboards at home to find items to sell and is working at Woodbank Garden Centre & Nurseries, in Harden, to earn cash.

And his mother, Laura Campbell, has launched an online fundraising page – at gofund.me/1e6c27d6.

She said: "French Woods is one of the leading residential performing arts bases in the United States and has been the training ground for some of the world's most talented stars.

"Students are tutored by the best, study six elements daily and audition in front of Broadway producers and directors for parts in shows.

"But naturally, this comes at a price. Normally the cost would be 2,000 dollars a week, however The Hammond – as it is one of the first UK schools to take a class over there – has negotiated a deal and the cost for our students is £2,000.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but even with the huge saving we will struggle to fund it ourselves. I manage a holiday cottage in Haworth which has been closed due to the pandemic and Fraser's dad is a self-employed driving instructor, so obviously has been hit hard. We basically lost two incomes overnight."

Laura said the school had suggested setting-up a GoFundMe page.

"Fraser thought it would seem like begging – hence he has set out to raise funds himself – but other students have launched similar pages," she added.

"Within 12 hours, £300 had been raised. We were gobsmacked at people's generosity. It is very humbling.

"All Fraser wants to do is sing – to him, music is life. It lifts people's spirits."

Last year theatre was severely hit by the Covid-19 restrictions, but Fraser was chosen by Opera North in Leeds to be one of four children to represent Yorkshire in the BBC Children in Need Choir.

He won a place at The Hammond, a performing arts school, this year after submitting 16 self-taped auditions and undergoing an interview via Zoom. He started there in September.