Hundreds of musicians battle for the top spot

Cornet player William Mantle with other youngsters who took part in the competition
Cornet player William Mantle with other youngsters who took part in the competition

More young people than ever before took part in an annual search to find a talented musician in Rushden.

About 240 competitors took part in the 22nd annual Young Musician Competition organised by the Rotary Club of Rushden.

The event was staged in Rushden last week and the organisers said the standard of the performances was the best yet.

Rotary club spokesman Michael Tye said: “We had the highest number of participants ever and the standard just gets better and better. It was a long evening for some of the participants and we were very grateful for the patience shown by them and all their supporters.

“We were again delighted to have the services of Jennifer Partridge to adjudicate the competition. It was her 10th year of judging and the participants were extremely grateful to receive such valuable feedback from someone with such a highly professional musical background. She had to make some very difficult decisions about who should be the winners of each category and who would be going through to the next round of Rotary’s district competition.”

There were categories for juniors aged six to 10, intermediates aged 11 to 13 and seniors aged from 14 to 17. Each category included a mix of soloists, ensembles, choirs, instrumentalists and vocalists. The music ranged from pieces by Russian and Hungarian composers to Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

In total 12 winners were announced and the Pauline Longland Memorial Trophy went to overall winner alto saxophonist Rose Atkinson, 15, who attends Northamptonshire School of Music.

The district competition will be held on February 25 at the King John School in Thrapston.