SIX of the county’s most talented music students, ranging in age from 16 to 22, have made it through to the finals of the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2024 from a near record field of 18 entries.
They include a harpist for the first time, Reuben West, from The Cotswold School, oboist Grace Tushingham, from Cheltenham, who is studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, clarinettist Ben Gibson, from Pates Grammar School, former fellow pupil and viola player Eden Saunders, who is studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, the youngest finalist pianist 16-year-old Stepan Rusencevs, from Cheltenham College, and James Li, from Cheltenham, who is studying at the Mozartium University in Salzburg.
Adjudicating the first round, on Sunday (January 7), was Professor Derek Aviss, former executive director of Trinity Laban and ex-principal of Trinity College. He said the standard of musicianship was outstanding coming from a wide age range of candidates from all corners of the county, who brought new instruments to the contest.
He is looking forward to the finals concert hosted by Cheltenham College at the Big Classical on Sunday March 3 at 3pm, when he will chair the judging panel and announce the Young Musician 2024 winner.
Tickets are £15 for adults, students and under-18s are free. You can buy from Eventbrite or on the door: