YOUNG people aged 11 to 19 in the Borders are being encouraged to register for Next BRIT thing - a major new nationwide music competition backed by the UK music industry.
The project is looking for young musicians in any genre to share their performances, compete in online charts and perform live.
There are categories for pop and classical music, with an additional award for composition.
Next BRIT thing offers entrants a raft of prizes and “money-can’t-buy” opportunities, including the chance to perform in front of thousands and exclusive support and guidance from professional musicians and songwriters.
The winners – to be chosen by a team of influential artists and music industry executives – will be crowned Next BRIT thing.
A spokesman for Next BRIT thing said: “This is a major cross-curricular learning opportunity from the government and industry.
“It will appeal to all children and young people while enabling them to develop their creative talents, confidence and skills.
“Young people entering Next BRIT thing will also have access to high-quality tutorials and resources to help them improve their skills, develop confidence and explore careers in the creative industries.”
Registration is open through www.nextbritthing.com and from September, entrants can submit video and audio of their performances to be assessed by their peers as a weekly chart.
The most popular will progress to regional finals in November, culminating in a national final early in 2012.
Pop star Paloma Faith has backed the competition. She said: “I am so excited about the Next BRIT thing.
The international charts have shown that there is so much talent on our green island to tap into. Music is so exciting and I can’t wait to hear what some of the entrants are doing.”