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Young musicians shine at Saltcoats Town Hall

Posted on 23 Feb 2024

The very best musical talent from our secondary schools came together for a series of memorable performances at Saltcoats Town Hall this week.

They were competing in the North Ayrshire Young Musician of the Year Competition – an annual celebration of North Ayrshire’s Musical talent, sponsored by the Rhona Reid Charitable Trust and Scottish Young Musicians.

A huge well done to Liam McGrath from Ardrossan Academy who was the winner of the Young Musician of the Year.

Congratulations also go to runners-up Stella McIntyre from St Matthew’s Academy and Lily Watkins from Greenwood Academy. 

Organised by North Ayrshire Council’s Music Service, the audience were treated to some outstanding performances on a range of instruments including piano, clarsach, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, bagpipes as well as singing. 

The performance programme was as follows:

Liam McGrath, Ardrossan Academy (Piano)
Chopin's Etude op 25 no 1
Reflets dans L'eau by Debussy for young musician

Lily Watkins, Greenwood Academy (Singer)
What Baking Can Do from Waitress
With You from Ghost

Stella McIntyre, St Matthew’s Academy (Clarsach)
An t-Eilean Muileach (The Isle of Mull) by Dugald MacPhail 
Tongadale Reel - Traditional

Adjudicators for the event were Aileen Douthwaite, Emma Tomlinson and David Douglas. The judges congratulated all the competitors on their performances and gave some very positive feedback to everyone. 

After presenting the prizes at the competition on Wednesday, February 21, North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson said: “Huge congratulations to every young person who took part tonight.  You are a credit to your families and schools. It has been wonderful to see the range of musical instruments presented, one from each secondary school – and it just highlights the breadth of musical tuition available to support our youngsters in their musical development.

“A special mention also to our Music Service who are clearly doing a brilliant job coaching and mentoring some truly exceptional musicians.

“The worthy winner Liam McGrath now goes on to represent North Ayrshire at the Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year National Final taking place on Sunday 26 May in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Over 30 finalists from across Scotland will compete in this prestigious event and I’m sure Liam will have an amazing experience. We wish him all the best.

“To all the other musicians, keep up your outstanding work and keep enjoying your music.”

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