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Essex Young Musician of the Year 2014

14 July 2014

Nineteen-year-old clarinettist William Knight has been named Essex Young Musician of the Year 2014. A former pupil of Westcliff High School for Boys, William is a graduate of the National Youth Orchestra and has just completed his first year at the Royal College of Music.

The competition’s five judges also awarded runner-up prizes to Elodie Chousmer-Howelles (violin), Corinna Wilson (soprano) and Irena Klimach (oboe). David Cox and Keenan Ngo, two promising competitors under the age of 19, were also commended.

The Essex Young Musician of the Year competition has been running since 1984, and is run by Ongar Music Club. Previous winners include violinist Anthony Marwood and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.

MFY National Festival is in full swing!

11 July 2014

Central Birmingham is rocking with the sounds and vibes of Music For Youth’s annual National Festival! 

Now halfway through, festival-goers and local residents have been enjoying pop-up performances across the city of Birmingham as well as performances on the main stages of Symphony Hall, the Town Hall and Birmingham Conservatoire. 

In the interactive zone at Symphony Hall young people have been trying out all kinds of different (and often brightly-coloured!) instruments. Every day has featured a new ‘performance by a pro’ at the festival’s Ten Past Two concerts – click here to watch a clip of Joe Broughton (violin) and Tom Chapman (percussion). 

Highlights to come include tomorrow’s Family Experience. Orchestras, jazz combos and big bands will be featured, alongside a ‘Musical Mayhem’ family workshop. Tickets from Symphony Hall or Town Hall Box Office: £10 for four people

Apply now for Yamaha Brass and Woodwind Scholarships

7 July 2014

Music students under the age of 25 who are from the UK and Republic of Ireland are invited to apply now for Yamaha’s annual European Scholarship awards programme.

Now in its 25th year, the scheme now operates in 31 European countries and has provided over 850 scholarships to deserving candidates. The rewarded discipline is rotated annually, with full-time brass and woodwind students applying this year. Three scholarships, each of €2000, will be awarded in the UK, with a further €2000 scholarship in Ireland.

The deadline for applications is 30 November 2014, with preliminary rounds taking place in early December. Those interested in applying must submit a recording of two contrasting pieces of music totalling less than 30 minutes’ duration.

Previous Yamaha scholars include saxophonist Amy Dickson, pianists Eduard Kunz and Sasha Grynyuk, and euphonium player David Childs.

To download an application form, click here.

BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers Competition: winners announced 

4 July 2014

Six talented young composers have been announced as winners of the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition 2014. The winners, who are aged between 12-18, will have their music performed by the Aurora Orchestra at the BBC Proms this summer (20 August), with a broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (25 August) and a BBC commission. 

The entries were judged by a panel comprising composers Stuart MacRae, Anna Meredith, Martin Suckling, Judith Weir CBE, and Radio 3 Editor Jeremy Evans. Chaired by Fraser Trainer, the judges were on the lookout for pieces that were original, unique and inspiring.    

The winners of the junior category (12-16 years) are Harry Castle’s La Trahison des Images, Rob Durnin’s A Study in Anarchy and Matthew Jackson’s Mirror Mirror. The senior category (17-18 years) was won by Nathaniel Coxon’s Two Cells, Anna Disley-Simpson’s Underneath and Harry Johnstone’s Dis-Pulsed. There were also five highly commended entrants at each level.    

Now in its sixteenth year, this was the third year that the competition offered an opportunity for teachers to take part in the scheme. While aspiring young composers were participating in their Composer Labs across the country, a special Teacher’s Lab was set up in Newham, East London, where players from the BBC Concert Orchestra led workshops on how to broaden compositional teaching skills.   

Young composers keen to get involved in workshops this summer will be able to take part in the Inspire Day workshops during this summer’s BBC Proms. Fraser Trainer will lead a contemporary composition workshop on Sunday 10 August, with Mike Roberts running a session about electro-acoustic composition on 14 August. Jules Buckley will teach a session about arranging on 20 August, and Judith Weir will take a workshop on writing for solo instruments on Saturday 30 August.  

Out now: new Trinity piano syllabus

3 July 2014

Music exam board Trinity College London (TCL) has released its new piano syllabus for 2015-2017, which is available to download from the TCL website. Supporting piano publications, including new graded repertoire books, are also available online and from music retailers.

The new piano syllabus contains a fully refreshed repertoire list, as well new technical works. Well-known classical pieces have been joined by original compositions by composers from all over the world, who were invited by Trinity to submit pieces for consideration.

New syllabuses for woodwind, jazz woodwind, guitar strings, singing and brass will be released by Trinity later this month. From September a new Electronic Keyboard & Organ syllabus will also be available.

Chris Walters, TCL’s head of qualifications for Music, commented: ‘Our graded music exams are strongly performance based and examine real musical skills specific to each instrument or voice. The wide choice of authentic repertoire found in each of our new syllabuses allows candidates to find pieces that reflect their own musical identity, and they are able to further express their individuality through options including improvising and performing original compositions. We’ve structured our exams so that they assess the whole musician – evaluating creativity, emotional response, critical listening and performing – and we provide precise and specific feedback through a diagnostic mark scheme, to encourage continued learning and development.’

A one year overlap arrangement is in place, so candidates may perform repertoire and technical work from current syllabuses until the end of 2015.

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