Winner of Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer Announced

**Pics free to use** Emily Barron, 16-year old clarinettist from St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm wins Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year 2023.

Emily Barron, a 16-year-old Clarinettist from St. Columba’s School, Kilmacolm, has won Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year 2023 in a competition in Glasgow involving 31 of the best Young Musicians from across Scotland.

Emily started playing clarinet when she was 8 years old. Since then has picked up saxophone, piano and bass clarinet, and is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and RCS Junior Symphony Orchestra. Her winning performance of Solo de Concours by André Messager earned her the title of this year’s Scottish Young Musician Solo Performer.

Emily Barron receives £1,000 to spend on furthering her musical career and the Maid of Morven trophy made by the Kings’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland Alexander Stoddart FRSE. She will also receive a package of opportunities provided by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland including a coaching session, participation in a masterclass and a studio recording session.

Will Archibald from Dumfries and Galloway and Michael Gemmell from the Scottish Borders were equal runners-up and will both receive £250 to spend on musical activities and a coaching session and masterclass slot at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Chair of Scottish Young Musicians, Alan Kerr, said “The 31 amazing finalists playing today represent only the top of the tree of talent that Scottish Young Musicians has encouraged. Now covering 99% of the Scottish population, our other winners and participants have benefitted from developing their music and life-skills on their journey with SYM. Our goal is to achieve the broadest possible participation and to be as inclusive as possible. We’re delighted at how 2023 has turned out and we’ve even started to get ready to return next year.”

The panel of judges was led by John Logan, Head of Brass at RCS who was joined by Sarah Ayoub of the multi-instrumental composing and performing duo the Ayoub Sisters, internationally renowned soprano Judith Howarth, Heather Nicol, Head of Woodwind at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Ross Leighton from the band Fatherson. They had the difficult job of selecting the winner and two runners up from performances on instruments ranging from euphonium to accordion, bass guitar to baritone horn, marimba to voice, and many more.

The day started with a special welcome from international classical violinist Nicola Benedetti and culminated in a performance by the winning Scottish Young Musicians Ensemble of the Year, East Lothian Council Instrumental Music Service Senior String Ensemble, and Brass Ensemble of the Year Stranraer Brass.

The Scotland-wide competition is run by The Music Education Partnership Group who work with every school and local authority in Scotland to support music education and opportunities.

Irene Brown

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