Bolton School Senior Boys

Vocalists are Young Musicians of the Year

Matthew Kay (Year 9) and Alexander Deakin (Year 13) created history at Bolton School Boys’ Division’s Young Musician of the Year Competition. It was the first time that vocalists have won first prize in both the Junior Young Musician and the Senior Young Musician Finals.  

After last week’s spectacular Victoria Hall Concert, which saw mass participation across the Boys’ Division and Girls’ Division, including a rousing choir of 237 Year 7 girls and boys and over 2,000 friends of the School in the audience, tonight’s event was more about elite performance. All the boys taking part in the evening were already winners and each took away a trophy commemorating their achievement. 

The Young Musician of the Year competition had begun in January with several hundred contestants, who were judged over a two week period during lunchtimes and in music lessons. Eighty four boys were then chosen to take part in the Semi-Final, six Juniors and six Seniors in each of seven instrumental categories, which took up the whole of the day on 5 February. Miss Clare Deady, Head of Instrumental Studies in the Girls’ Division, adjudicated and chose one Junior and one Senior winner from each category, although in the Senior Guitar Class she awarded two winners – one for electric guitar and one for classical guitar. This provided 15 boys for the eagerly anticipated Final. 

On the night, Miss Deady was joined by Mr Ian Forgrieve, Head of Instrumental Studies in the Boys’ Division, in the difficult task of judging as they and a spellbound audience were transfixed by Junior and Senior performers in the categories of brass, piano, percussion, strings, voice, woodwind and guitar.    

As the judges deliberated over their final decision, the audience enjoyed wine and nibbles whilst listening to three Year 8 boys, the Parallel Oreos, perform an acoustic Mumford and Sons inspired set. 

In delivering her verdict, Miss Deady said: “The standard this evening has been incredibly high and anyone could have won, especially in the Senior section. I offer a huge thank you and congratulations to every performer, each of whom is, of course, already a winner. Both of tonight’s winners used all the tools available to them and communicated with the audience so well. Matthew’s was a fantastic performance with wonderful timbres and colours in his voice. Likewise with Alexander, although it was a close decision between him and Tom Fines and his classical guitar piece. 

Both the Junior and Senior Young Musicians took away a cash prize for £100 as well as a winners trophy and were entitled to have their names engraved on the Young Musician of the Year Plaques which are on permanent display in the Music Department. 

This year’s Most Promising Performer award, which recognises an outstanding performer in the Semi-Final who just missed out on the Final, went to George Morgan. There were also awards for Adam Critchlow who was this year’s Junior Composer of the Year Winner and for Toby Cowling, no stranger to this competition, who won the Senior Composer of the Year award.

Matthew Kay was Junior Young Musician of the Year 2013

Junior Young Musician of the Year was Matthew Kay who sang "Superman"

Alexander Myatt performed a lively version of "All Funked Up" by Jason Woolley

Alexander Deakin who sang "The Road You Didn't Take" from Stephen Sondheim's musical The Follies won the Senior Young Musican of the Year competition