The atmosphere in St. John’s Church, Churchill for Churchill Music’s 16th Young Musician of the Year competition was electric as the 9 talented musicians from Churchill Academy and 6th Form delighted the audience with their superb performances.

The Adjudicating panel chaired by Dr. Jonathan James, PhD conductor, music educator and founder-director of the Bristol Pre-Conservatoire with Alison Blundell and Adrian Trapp, had a particularly hard task to choose this year’s winners.

Year 11 pianist, Keith Ng won the trophy and generous cheque with his performance of two contrasting Chopin nocturns, his interpretation of which, brought out the full range of contrasts. He had the us all thoroughly involved right to the end when the final notes faded away.  The audience clearly agreed, through their votes cast during the nail-biting interval whilst the panel adjourned. Keith won the Churchill Music Audience Trophy as well.

Young Ella Phippen (Year 9) won the Ursula Dornton Vocal Prize, generously sponsored by the Trinity Singers, for her beautifully crafted performances of Francesco Durante’s Danza danza, Roger Quilter’s Weep you no more and Frederick Loewe’s I could have danced all night delivering each of these contrasting pieces with great aplomb, demonstrating great versatility across such a diverse range of styles.

We wish both Keith and Ella well as their success invites them to enter the Regional Final of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition on March 3rd at Kings of Wessex School, Cheddar.

The Junior Trophy was awarded to Luca Granger (Yr11), for his great technical ability displayed in his musically nuanced performances of Howard’s Fly me to the moon, (arranged by Luca), Jasper Smith’s Short Train Ride and Joe Satriani’s Always with me Always with you.

Churchill Music trustees were delighted to welcome Jackie Bush, Chair of Churchill Parish Council with Lorraine Woollven, Head Teacher Churchill Primary School and Cllr Gibbons Deputy Leader North Somerset Council amongst the invited guests.

Gary Lewis, CEO of the Lighthouse Schools Partnership rounded off the evening with an inspirational vote of thanks to all involved. Churchill Music is looking forward to working with the Lighthouse Partnership for future music projects.