Six of the best young musical talents in the county have been named as finalists in the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2015 contest – following a hectic Sunday when a record 22 contestants performed in the first round.
Adjudicator Meurig Bowen, who is the Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival and also played a key role in judging the BBC Young Musician 2014, survived his marathon 10-hour session praising the standard of musicianship. He said: “I was hugely energised by the commitment shown in all the entrants’ music-making, by the sheer range of the music I heard, and by the high standard overall.”
He selected six finalists:
- 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.
They will all perform in the finals which take place on Tuesday, February 24 at Cheltenham’s Pittville Pump Room.
In addition, Forest of Dean jazz player Oliver Stanton, who gave an impressive performance, will be given the opportunity of playing with his band Twice William during judging at Pittville and he will be recommended as a performer for the fringe or free stage events at Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the contest which was organised for the first time by the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra with sponsorship from Parkers Estate Agents.
For more information on this year’s competition click here.