Two New Competitions Set to Find Solo Performer and Brass Ensemble of the Year 

Following the success of the long running North Ayrshire Young Musician Competition,  the Music Education Partnership Group is now rolling two new competitions out across Scotland that are anticipated as being the next big development in music in the country.

Their aim is to find the very best young musicians in the categories of Solo Performer of the Year and Brass Ensemble of the Year from each Local Authority and from independent school, to compete against each other and perform in a grand finale at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2022.   

The competitions, that are supported by Nicola Benedetti and Sir James MacMillan, will give school students the chance to achieve their ambitions through their talent in music, develop their life skills as well as have fun.

Nicola Benedetti said “We are entering a rare and beautiful moment in Scotland’s history, where a phenomenal combination of individuals and organisations are tirelessly working together to achieve the highest possible inclusivity and excellence in music, all equally committed to enriching our national story and legacy, and furthermore, we have a new governmental commitment to free instrumental tuition for Scotland’s young people. It feels like such an exciting time for classical music in Scotland and the perfect moment to launch Scottish Young Musician to celebrate the brilliant young musical talent across the country. I am excited to see how this develops.”

For Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year, each local authority will receive funding and support to allow every secondary school to take part. Each will have a process of selecting a winner and there will be a finalist chosen from those attending independent schools. The first Solo Performer of the Year final will be held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow on 29 May 2022 and will be judged by adjudicators with an international reputation.

The winner of the national competition will receive a sculpture by Sandy Stoddart as well as the opportunity to work, play and learn with some world class musicians with links to music colleges.

Scottish Young Musicians Brass Ensemble of the Year is an online music competition open to ensembles of up to 10 players aged 18 and under who play together regularly in school or in their local youth brass band. There will also be an ensemble chosen from those attending independent schools. Entrance is by video submission and should include two contrasting pieces lasting no longer than 10 minutes. Closing date for entries is 25th March 2022 with results announced on 25 April 2022.

The winning ensemble will get an all-expenses paid trip to play a prime slot at the Solo Performer of the Year final on Sunday 29 May at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, receive a trophy and a £750 prize to be spent on ensemble music related activities.

To enable as many young people as possible to take part in the competitions, there is no minimum age or standard. All competition fees will be covered, and the finalists and their parent or carer will receive travel expenses and accommodation if required. This gives the hope that every school pupil will have the opportunity to take part, and there is confidence that the finalists from across Scotland will be of a quality where they could become professional musicians.

As well as looking for support at a national level, Scottish Young Musicians is looking for businesses to get involved at a local level to support the Young Musicians competition in their local authority.

Find out how you can help this new annual competition get off the ground at

Irene Brown

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