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Thursday, 03 March 2016
The twelfth Young Musician of the Year Final revealed both the breadth and depth of talent within Bolton School Boys’ Division. The 14 finalists were already winners in their individual categories, having taken part in earlier rounds which had seen over 300 entries to the competition. The heats were judged by Music staff, who selected 12 performers, six Junior (Years 7-9) and six Senior (Years 10-13), from seven instrument categories to progress into a semi-final of 84 boys, which was judged by Mr Stuart Hazelton, Assistant Head of Bolton Music Service. His was the unenviable task of identifying one Junior and one Senior musician from each of the seven categories to progress into tonight's final.
Each of the finalists played a piece in their category in front of an audience in the Great Hall comprising parents and teachers and adjudicator on the night, Mr Stuart Hazelton. The brass winners were William Hardy Y9 (Junior) and Adam Shine Y12 (Senior), the piano/organ category winners were William Miles Y7 (Junior) and Niall Woodward Y13 (Senior), the strings winners were Nathan Burudi Y8 (Junior) and Victor Chow Y10 (Senior), vocal winners were Adam Whitmore Y9 (Junior) and James Yearn Y12 (Senior), woodwind winners were Thomas Yates Y8 (Junior) and Daniel Anderson Y13 (Senior), guitar winners were Rikin Patel Y7 (Junior) and James Stevens Y11 (Senior) and the percussion winners were Tyler Titley Y8 (Junior) and Thomas Noneley Y13 (Senior).
Prior to declaring a Junior and Senior overall winner, Mr Hazelton remarked: “This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make! The standard is out of this world. On top of technical expertise, I have also been looking at each entrant’s complete performance including how they present themselves and communicate with the audience. I’ve been looking at all the tiny details such as where they put their music stand, what they do with their hands and their overall stage presence.” He gave individual feedback to each performer, telling them what they did well and advising how they can take their playing to the next level. He then awarded the Senior Young Musician of the Year Award to Niall Woodward, who played piano, commenting that: “Niall played with a great feel for the blues genre and with real touch and poise throughout.” You can listen to his piece, Ray's Blues by Grusin, here. In the Junior Category, he announced vocalist Adam Whitmore as the winner for his rendition of Adele’s Turning Tables, praising him for “taking ownership of the song”. You can listen to Adam here. Each of the two winners took away £100 in cash and a trophy. Adam also won the same category when he was in Year 7 in 2014.
There were also £50 prizes and trophies on the evening for the Junior and Senior Young Composers of the Year. As ever, the number of entries and the quality, creativity and diversity of style impressed judges. Boys and bands had been asked to compose their own music. Matthew Kay from Year 12 won the Senior award for his guitar/vocal composition and Year 7’s Matthew Settle’s piano piece saw him collect the Junior category prize. The Most Promising Performer award is given to a boy who showed real potential but did not quite make it into the final and this year this went to Tom Paterson of Year 11.
Head of Music in the Boys’ Division, Mr Jeremy Bleasdale, told the audience: “Tonight makes me proud to work in a school where there is so much musical talent. I did not envy Mr Hazelton in having to choose winners. My thanks go to him and to the other Music teachers for all their work in preparing the boys and to the accompanists this evening, Mrs Cathy Hall-Smith and Mrs Cathryn Whitmore. Thanks and congratulations also go to all the boys for making this a wonderful six weeks of music-making. I would also like to publicly thank Mr and Mrs Hilton, who are here tonight, for their generous and ongoing contribution to the cash prizes.”
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