Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year is a new Scotland-wide music competition launched by The Music Education Partnership Group, Scotland’s only music competition where funding and expertise is offered to every school and Local Authority, giving all pupils in the country the chance to take part.
Glasgow’s City Halls saw solo musicians from primary and secondary schools across Glasgow compete for a spot in the Scottish Young Musicians final which will take place on 29th May this year in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. All schools in Glasgow were invited to take part, and a total of 4 primary and 15 secondary schools were involved in the local final, with 22 young people performing.
Following a string of excellent live performances at Glasgow City Halls, 16-year-old Akshar Abdullah from All Saints RC Secondary School was announced as the winner by adjudicator Gerry Doherty. He performed IV) Despedida (Farewell) – Rosauro Concerto for Marimba on Marimba and gave a masterful performance. In second place was Elina Purina, S5 pianist from Holyrood Secondary School, and Allie McEwan, S5 singer from St Margaret Mary’s Secondary School, was awarded third place.
Akshar Abdullah said “I feel absolutely exhilarated. I have been playing percussion for three years now and I feel very proud of myself for winning today. It was nerve-wracking but competing today was a great experience and I’m really excited to represent Glasgow at the national final.”
The next step of the competition takes Akshar to the Royal Conservatoire to compete in the national final in May. The overall winner of the National competition will receive a sculpture by Alexander Stoddart of the Maid of Morven playing the Clarsach, as well as the opportunity to work, play and learn with some world class musicians with links to music colleges for future considerations of a career in music.
The majority of Local Authorities across Scotland are also taking part in the competition, with many more hosting local finals in the coming months to determine who will represent their area in the national final.
Scottish Young Musicians Brass Ensemble of the Year is also taking place in 2022. This online music competition is 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 and the results will be announced on 25th 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 29th May at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They will also receive a trophy and a prize of £750 to be spent on ensemble music related activities, generously donated by the legendary trumpet player Philip Jones CBE and his wife Ursula.Irene Brown