Young Musician Competition Regional Final, 2024

Rotary Young Musicians enthralled the audience with their talents

Photography courtesy of NHP

Young Musicians parade their skills

Having hosted the District 1070 Young Musician competition in February, it befell the Market Bosworth Rotary club to host the Regional Cluster final at the Dixie Grammar School, Bosworth.

Club President Claire Ashdown explained “This was a completely new experience for us and a privilege to run the event, we’re told!  Clubs from Midlands Districts 1210, 1220, 1060 and our own 1070 each put forward a singer and instrumentalist, the winners in each category proceeding to the National Final in Manchester in April.

We are very grateful to the Dixie Grammar School for making their excellent venue available to us,

About the competitors

Bella Berville, 11 year old singer from Melton Mowbray, pictured with judges John and Roxanne Gull

Bella’s programme included songs from Wicked the Musical and Billie Eilish.  Bella, first performer of the afternoon, had to wait until everyone else had played before eventually learning of her success, going through to Manchester finals next month. Congratulations Bella! - you did us proud.

Yang He, aged 11 year old violinist from Dudley

Everyone just seemed to expect that Yang would “wow" judges and audience alike with his technique and musical talents. It surprised no-one that Yang took the winning instrumentalist prize. Congratulations Yang!

Suzanne Iselin, 14 year old Alto Saxophonist representing Ashby clubs

Suzanne started a moody and perhaps plaintive piece by Ronald Binge followed by a lively Gypsy Song rounded off with an energetic, crowd-pleasing “hey!”

William Tyne, 17 year old from Stourbridge 

William sang Handel, Mozart and, dancing with a well-used chimney sweeping brush, Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins.  No embarrassing Dick Van Dyke mockney accent here. 

Ben Kelly, a very grown up 15 year old with a big, big voice

Confident and instantly likeable Ben was sponsored by R C Rotherham and performed songs from Les Miserables and South Pacific. 

Louis Millar 14 year old trumpeter

Louis was representing Wollaston Park. He played pieces by Hayden and Vizzutti. Although not going through to the next round, the judges were much impressed, particularly his rendition of the popular Tico Tico. Judge John went as far as to say if the there had been a bronze award, Louis would have taken it. 

Shreya Bhat, age 13 from Rugby School

Last to perform, it must have felt like hours for Shreya before she could go on. If she felt nervous, it didn’t show. Her beautifully presented programme included pieces by Elgar and Pippa.

Talking about nerves, it was noticeable that none of our competitors showed any signs of stage fright. We’d like to think that distinguished adjudicators John & Roxanne Gull played their part in putting the youngsters at ease before the event and even giving them tips about communicating with the listeners and acknowledging applause. No stranger to Rotary Young Musician Competitions, John is simply one of those good humoured chaps you immediately take to. 

Claire told us “John and Roxanne mixed freely with the performers afterwards and even seemed a bit reluctant to leave. I’m sure that no-one enjoyed the afternoon more than they did!. My goodness,” says Claire, “the hours we put in to make sure that the whole competition ran smoothly!” And it did, very smoothly.

Congratulations to Bella and Yangfor a job well done!

This article is copied with acknowledgements to the editor of the Rotary District 1070 website.

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