Shropshire was alive with the sound of music last weekend as the National Final of the 2016 Rotary Young Musician competition took place at Abraham Darby Academy in Telford.
Having progressed through the local heats and regional stages to reach the National Final, 15 young people competed across two categories, solo instrumentalist and solo vocalist, to battle it out for the top prize.
The eight instrumentalists included performances from diverse sections of the musical family, from the woodwind oboe and alto saxophone, to a variety of percussion instruments and piano. It was violinist Xander Croft, sponsored by the Rotary Club of The City of St Asaph, who took home the title. 17-year-old Xander has been playing the violin since the age of eight, and is currently in his fifth year at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music. Xander performed Partita No2 3rd Movement – Sarabande by J S Bach and Praeludium und Allegro by G Pugnani-Kreisler.
The vocalist category was won by 16-year-old Isabel Irvine, sponsored jointly by the Rotary Clubs of Loddon Vale and Reading Maiden Erlegh. Isabel performs in various choirs, including the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and will be travelling to China to perform with the Berkshire Youth Choir later this year. Isabel wowed the audience with her performances of Nel cor più non mi sento by Giovanni Paisiello, Sure On This Shining Night by Samuel Barber and I Hate Men by Cole Porter.
This year’s competition was adjudicated by Simon Platford MBE, Director of Music at Wrekin College and national finalist in the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year competition, who was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to music education; Daniel Browell, a concert pianist, who works regularly with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and International Examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Adrian Lucas.
Rotary’s Young Musician was created to give young people across Great Britain and Ireland the chance to develop and showcase their exceptional musical talents. The competition is open to all amateur musicians in full time education up to the age of 17 and is one of many youth competitions organised by Rotary to build the skills of young people.
Richard Green, Governor of Rotary in Shropshire, Staffordshire and part of the West Midlands commented: “Rotary is dedicated to encouraging and supporting our young people, many of whom show extraordinary talent. The National Final was a perfect illustration of that ethic.”
The full results are outlined below:
1st – Isabel Irvine, 16, sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Loddon Vale and Reading Maiden Erlegh
2nd – Imogen Parsley, 15, sponsored by the Rotary Club of The City of St Asaph
3rd – Marcus Swietlicki, 17, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Penicuik
1st – Xander Croft (violin), 17, sponsored by the Rotary Club of The City of St Asaph
2nd – Heledd Gwynant (percussion; Marimba, Xylophone and Drums), 17, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pontllanfraith
3rd – Anna Michels (piano), Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Falkirk
Published: Friday 6th May 2016