The countdown begins for six of the county’s top musical talents who will be competing for the title of Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year.
Whittled down from a record entry of 22, the six will perform at the prestigious Pittville Pump Room on Tuesday, February 24 before a panel of judges and an audience of civic dignitaries and guests.
The winner will receive a cash prize of £500, the Hewitt-Jones Trophy and will be given the opportunity to perform a recital at the Cheltenham Music Festival and the Carducci Festival, as well as two concerto performances with the Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra.
The runners-up will receive a cash prize of £100 and there will also be an Audience Prize for the very first time of £200 sponsored by the Carducci Trust – the charitable trust initiated by the world-reknowned Carducci String Quartet.
The finalists are:
- Santos Hau, 17, from Gloucester (piano) who attends Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School and studies at the Birmingham Junior Conservatoire;
- Sophie Haynes, 20, from Gloucester (cello) who is studying at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama;
- Rebecca McNaught, 19, from Cheltenham (cello) a former Pate’s Grammar School pupil, who is reading music at Oxford University;
- Nicola Rouse, 18, from Badminton (trumpet) studying at the Royal Academy of Music;
- Jennifer Statham, 18, from Cheltenham (violin) currently on a gap year;
- Abigail Waterman, 18, from Cheltenham (flute) a pupil at Pate’s Grammar School.
The judging panel will be chaired by Meurig Bowen, Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival Meurig Bowen, who played a key role in the judging of the BBC Young Musician 2014 on BBC4 TV. He will be joined by Jo Hensel, Deputy Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and award-winning cellist Gemma Rosefield.
Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra took over the running of the contest this year with sponsorship from estate agents Parkers of Gloucester and CJ Hole of Cheltenham. They are working in partnership with Cheltenham Music Festival, the Carducci String Quartet, Gloucestershire Music Service and the Gloucester Academy of Music.
Tickets for the finals on February 24 are now available priced £15 online at http://www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/gloucestershire-young-musician-64553/