Young Musician of the Year 2022

At last, after an absence of over two years, the tenth Seaford Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition was held on Saturday 9th July at Seaford Baptist Church.

Event organiser Paul Vaesen commented at the start of the competition “It’s great to be back”.

The aim of the competition is to encourage youngsters to showcase their musical talent by giving them the experience of performing on a public stage.  This year there were nine soloists in the instrumentalist and vocal categories and three ensembles.  Ages ranged from 11 to 16.

The programme was compered with enthusiasm by Ben Smith, and the music ranged from classical to present day pop, the instruments played included keyboard, violin, cello, electric guitar and percussion.   The audience, which included the competitors themselves and their families and friends, and the Mayor of Seaford, Councillor Olivia Honeyman, Young Mayor Erin Franklin and Deputy Young Mayor Nia White was treated to a wonderfully varied concert performed with great confidence by all the competitors.  I am sure no one would have left the stage feeling they could have done better.  It was a particular joy to see those who were perhaps a little nervous about taking part lose their fears and come off stage having obviously enjoyed the experience.

Members of Inner Wheel of Seaford and Rotary partners kindly helped with the refreshments in the interval.  We were entertained after the last competitor whilst the judges deliberated by local singer Shannon Smith.

The event could not have happened without our three judges, Pat White, Sue Richardson and Frank Parker.  It is always a difficult task to compare the different instruments, songs and styles of music.  Pat, our chief judge has been a tower of strength during the preparatory period of the event.  Her expertise is invaluable.

The Baptist Church is an excellent venue for the competition, and we were made most welcome.  This year our  Sound Technician was Dave Faulkner from Seaford Head School, ably assisted by Ben Noble, who had a lot to do, carrying out preparatory sound checks and then sorting out microphone placements and backing tracks for the performers.

Young Mayor Erin Franklin and Deputy Young Mayor Nia White presented certificates to each of the competitors.

At the end of the evening Seaford Rotary President Ann Reed congratulated all the competitors and thanked all who had helped in making this a most successful evening.

The Prize Winners were:

Overall winner and winner of the Instrumental Section:    Isobel Peerless (Violin)

Winner of the Vocal Section: Grace Kelly

Winner of the Ensemble Section: five members of Seaford Head Samba

 A special Prize for potential was presented to singer Emma Hayward.

After the section winners were presented with their prizes by the Mayor of Seaford, Councillor Olivia Honeyman, Seaford Rotary President Ann Reed presented the overall winner, violinist Isobel Peerless, with the Colin Seymour Shield.

Thanks go to all the Rotarians who helped.  The event could not have taken place without their assistance which enable the audience to experience a wonderfully joyous evening of music performed by some very talented young people.

Congratulations to all the competitors and thank you for entertaining us.



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