The 12th annual Churchill Young Musician of the Year competition took place on Monday 28th January at St John’s Church, Churchill. This fabulous event is held in partnership with Churchill Academy.

Jordan Walters, Churchill Music Young Musician of the Year 2019. Photo Evan Dawson

The audience was treated to a varied programme by eight of the Academy’s most promising musicians, with performances of works from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century from composers.

The judging panel was chaired this year by Susanna Stranders from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden assisted by Zoe Maitland-Round and Andrew Tyrrell.  Churchill Music Young Musician of the Year was awarded to pianist Jordan Walters. Jordan performed two contrasting pieces by Chopin, holding the audience spellbound with his musicality.

The Ursula Dornton Vocal Prize – a new award, sponsored by the Trinity Singers in memory of the  Churchill Music co-founder  – was awarded to George Derry, who also won the audience prize. His spirited rendition of “My Name is John Wellington Wells” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer brought the house down!

George Derry, Ursula Dornton Vocal Prize and Audience prize winner Photo Evan Dawson

The Raymond Hayter Song Prize was won by Naomi Blowers, whilst the Churchill Music Junior Trophy was awarded to young ‘cellist, Ella Hutchinson.

Ella Hutchinson, Churchill Music Junior Young Musician of the Year. Photo Evan Dawson

Chris Hildrew, Headteacher, commented “I’m so proud to see our musicians flourishing. It’s such a reward, and underlines the importance of ensuring music and the arts are kept at the heart of Churchill Academy & Sixth Form’s ethos. It is our job to ensure the commitment of our students to become musicians is supported through our curriculum and extra-curricular activities, ensuring young musicians continue to thrive at Churchill. We thank our ever-present partners, Churchill Music, for these continued opportunities to see our students shine.”

Following the performance, all the students were invited to play at the Young Artists Showcase at St Georges, Bristol.  Jan Murray from Churchill Music commented, “What a fabulous opportunity for these young musicians. The standard was extremely high again this year.  Churchill Music is passionate about music education and is delighted hear from Chris Hildrew that he shares that passion.  Even the government are gradually realising that music is more than just an extra subject – it is fundamental to a positive learning experience ”.

Students impress at Churchill Music’s Young Musician competition