Five exceptionally talented students, ranging in age from 12 to 20, have made it through to the finals of the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2019. They include the first-ever euphonium player finalist Stephen Parker, from Stroud’s Marling Grammar School, and one of the youngest entrants 12-year-old pianist Michael Lei, from Cheltenham’s Dean Close School. They are joined by pianist Diff Jia, from Pate’s Grammar School, and Cheltenham College pupil Bill Ko Tsk Hin, who is playing viola. Returning finalist Wotton-under-Edge clarinettist Katie Jenner, who won a scholarship to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, is the oldest entrant at 20.
Adjudicating the first round was Professor Derek Aviss, former executive director of Trinity Laban and ex-principal of Trinity College. Based in the county, he is president of the Gloucestershire Academy of Music, which hosted the auditions. He will chair the judging panel at the finals concert on March 5 at 7pm in Prince Michael Hall at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, where he will be joined by top brass band specialist Philip Harper, who is musical director of the Cory Band, and Meurig Bowen, former director of the Cheltenham Music Festival, who now works for the BBC and National Orchestra of Wales.
At the end of the evening, Professor Aviss will announce the Young Musician 2019 winner, who 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, as well as two concerto performances with the Gloucestershire Symphony and Youth Orchestras.
The runners-up will receive cash prizes of £100 each and there will also be an Audience Prize of £200 sponsored by the Carducci Trust – the charitable trust initiated by the prestigious Carducci String Quartet based in Gloucestershire.
Sponsors are The Summerfield Trust, Brimpsfield Music Society and hosts Dean Close School.
Tickets are £15 for adults and free for under-18s. Tickets can be purchased by following the link here, or on the door.