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Young Musician Final Showcases Boys’ Talent

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The 2020 Young Musician of the Year Final at Bolton School Boys’ Division showcased an incredible depth and breadth of talent.  This year’s Senior Young Musician (Y10-13) of the Year was trumpeter Jamie Gregson, a Y13 student, and the Junior Young Musician of the Year (Y7-9) was guitarist Akshat Kamath from Y9. Both winners overcame stiff competition from six other musicians in each section. In many ways, everyone in the Final is a winner already, having won their instrumental category section in earlier rounds. Hundreds of boys began the competition on 13 January when, for almost 2 weeks, class music lessons and lunchtimes were given over to the heats. From each of the seven instrumental categories, 14 pupils were chosen (seven Junior and seven Senior) which meant there were 84 semi-finalists, in an event which lasted all day. Shaun Turnbull, Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral, had the unenviable task of choosing one Junior and one Senior finalist from each of the seven categories.  

The Final, in its sixteenth year, thus saw 14 boys compete to take home the Senior or Junior award, which included a £100 cash prize, a trophy and their name engraved on the plaques which are on permanent display in the Boys’ Division. 

There were also awards on the night for Zach Tyrer-Hall, who was crowned Junior Composer of the Year and for Adam Whitmore, who became Senior Composer of the Year. Each year, the Music Department receives entries from individuals and bands who have produced their own compositions. The two winners have their recordings played on the night and receive £50 cash prizes and a trophy. An award was also made to Thomas Higham (woodwind) of Y12, who played woodwind, for being the Most Promising Performer. This prize is given to recognise an outstanding performance in the semi-final, which was perhaps deserving of a place in the final but didn’t quite make it.

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