Swindon Young Musician of the Year 2024

Sun, Mar 24th 2024 at 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Pianist Elizabeth Pope, a pupil at St John’s School Marlborough, is our Young Musician of 2024. In a closely contested competition she was overall winner, narrowly ahead of singer Bonnie Laker

After a gap of 4 years the Swindon North and Thamesdown Rotary Club’s Young Musician of the Year Competition was back.  It was the 25th and a souvenir programme was produced for the more than 100 members of the audience.  Twenty-four entrants in two sections, Junior and Senior, gave of their very best in this competition held at the Blunsdon House Hotel on Sunday 24th March.

The unenviable task of adjudicating the talented youngsters belonged to Mr Paul Turner, ARAM, GRSM (hons), LRAM, ARCM, FISM.  Paul, who lives locally, is a widely renowned professional musician having given masterclasses at such places as the Guildhall school of Music and Drama and the Musicfest Aberystwyth to name just two.

He had friendly and constructive advice for each competitor.  On summing up before announcing the final results, Paul said: “We’ve had a wonderful concert this afternoon, everybody has played and sung so well.  My congratulations to their school teachers as well, they work so hard.


Junior Section
1st    Elizabeth Pope, St John’s School. Piano: “Nocturne in G Minor” by Chopin.
2nd    Isabel Bartlett, Lydiard Park Academy. Piano: “Once Upon a Frozen Winter” by Heather Hammond
3rd    Shreyas Fernandes, St Joseph’s Catholic College. Guitar: “Allegretto” by Giuliani
Senior Section
1st    Bonnie Laker, Lydiard Park Academy. Voice: “When I Look at You” by Frank Wildham
2nd    Charlie Wright, Great Western Academy. Voice: “She Used to be Mine” by Sarah Bareilles
3rd    Nora Serhan, Kingsdown School. Piano: “Interstellar” by Hans Zimmer

Young Musician of the Year
Winner: Elizabeth Pope, St John’s School. Piano
Runner Up: Bonnie Laker, Lydiard Park Academy. Voice

The Worshipful The Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Barbara Parry, presented silver trophies to the Winner and the Runner Up.  There was also one for the winning school, St John’s, and every single competitor received a certificate of achievement and a medal.  A carousel of pictures is above.

The Mayor commented: “I love children being given opportunities such as this to showcase their talents and I congratulate them all as it takes a lot of courage to perform in front of an audience.”  And she had special thanks for the Rotary Club and particularly Rotarian Bob Humphries and his team for organising the competition.


Swindon Schools have been invited to submit entries - entry is free of charge

The competition will be in two parts –
Part 1 for the Junior Section (aged up to 14 years )
Part 2 for the Senior Section (aged up to 16 years). 

There will be a refreshment break between the two parts. 

All competitors will receive a certificate of achievement in recognition of having reached the level of accomplishment required to enter the competition.

Audience members are welcome - there is no charge.

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