Swindon Young Musician of the Year 2019

The young musicians gave us 3 hours of incredible ENTERTAINMENT. The 2020 competition is on Sunday 9th February at the Blunsdon House Hotel

27 young singers and instrumentalists entered by their 6 different schools entertained the 150-strong audience of Rotarians, parents, family and friends. 

First up was pretty in pink Joseyana Costa singing “Where is love?” from the musical “Oliver” and last to go was Sam Holloway singing “You're gonna miss me when I'm gone”.  And how we missed them when the Competition was over!

Highlights of the competition included a delightful rendition of “Moon River” played by Sally Armstrong on a harp, the first time that instrument has featured in this long-running Rotary competition, and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” sung with real emotion and feeling by Salewa Funsho.  Phoebe Maddison’s rendition of “On My Own” from Les Miserables was a joy to the ear, as was Sebastian Scanlon playing his Classical Guitar.

The competitors were judged by adjudicators Sheila Harrod for voice and Ian Bateman for instrumentalists.  Both had high praise and constructive remarks for the talents of all the entrants, and called them all “winners”. 

Sheila Harrod BEM was born and bred in Swindon and began her musical career 60 years ago.  She has acted as Chorus Mistress and Voice Coach with numerous musical shows and made stage and cabaret appearances of her own.  She is a famous face in Swindon as the founder and Musical Director of the Kentwood Choir, as well as other “Kentwood” spin offs. She was awarded the BEM in 1993 for services to music and local charities.

Ian Bateman has been a professional musician for 43 years. In 1977 he made his stage debut in Swindon, his home town, when he joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. With them he did numerous European tours and the 1977 Royal Command Performance.  In 2003 he joined Acker Bilk's band and later became the featured jazz soloist in the Back To Basie Orchestra.  He is going to present Billie Holiday’s “Lady in Satin” album with a full orchestra to a live audience in Bristol later this month.

The Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Junab Ali, presented certificates and Music Shop Vouchers to all the entrants who were awarded places.

The Rev Geoffrey Gleed was Master of Ceremonies, a role he conducted with his usual mix of genuine knowledge of music and amusing “church” stories.


Senior Group (age 15-17 years)


1st - Sebastian Scanlon, St Joseph's Catholic College, Capricho Arabe by Fransico Tarrega on Classical Guitar
2nd - Rosie Storey, Highworth Warneford School, Sonata by Camille Saint-Saens on Oboe
3rd - Prithviraj Burman, St Joseph's Catholic College, Ray's Blues by Dave Grusin 


1st - Phoebe Maddison, Abbey Park School, On My Own by Claude-Michel Schonberg
2nd - Katie Terrett, On My Own by Claude-Michel Schonberg
3rd - Andrew Watts, St Joseph's Catholic College, If I Can't Love Her by Alan Menken and Tim Rice
Highly Commended - Salewa Funsho, St Joseph's Catholic College, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
Highly Commended - Caitlin Eastham, Highworth Warneford School, All I Ask by Adele
Highly Commended - Amanda Codea, Abbey Park School, When you Love Someone by Roger Quilter, guitar and voice

Junior Group (under 15 years)


1st - Sally Armstrong, Highworth Warneford School, Moon River by Henry Mancini on Harp
2nd - Olivia Sweasey, St Joseph's Catholic College, Marcia by Oskar Rieding on Violin
3rd - Aaron Notley-Jones, Bradon Forest School, Vals by Tarrega on Classical Guitar
Highly Commended -Ben Canning, St Joseph's Catholic College, Valse Lente by Oskar Merikanto, on Piano


1st - Joseyana Costa, Swindon Academy, Where Is Love by Lionel Bart
2nd - Audzin Almeida, St Joseph's Catholic College, This is Me by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
3rd - Daniel Hudson, Highworth Warneford School, If Only You Would Listen by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater

SWINDON ADVERTISER Judges wowed by young musicians including The Voice Kids' Phoebe Maddison

Swindon Young Musician of the Year 2019 sub-pages:

Young Musicians Competition 2017 - Results

more The 2017 Prize Winners

Related pages...

Swindon Young Musician of the Year 2017

more Report and Pictures

Swindon Young Musician of the Year 2016

more Swindon Young Musician of the Year Competition 2016

Young Musicians Competition 2015 - Results

more The 2015 Prize Winners

Young Musicians Competition 2014 - Results

more The 2014 Prize Winners

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Swindon Young Musician of Year 2020

back "In musical entertainment Swindon punches way above its weight. Some of the youngsters we've heard tonight will go on to make a name for themselves"