A celebration of Ripon’s young musical talent

Competitors in Class 3 - Ensembles.
Competitors in Class 3 - Ensembles.

The skills of young musicians from Ripon and the surrounding area have been celebrated in the annual Ripon Young Musicians of the Year competition.

The competition – organised by the Inner Wheel Club of Ripon Rowels, the Rotary Club of Ripon and the Rotary Club of Ripon Rowels – was held at the city’s Holy Trinity Church.

It was adjudicated by Clive Harries, an all-round musician who is a singer and organist as well as an examiner for the Associated Board music examinations and an experienced adjudicator.

David Winpenny, who founded Ripon Young Musicians of the Year, said: “This year’s celebration of young musical talent in Ripon and the surrounding area was a feast of great performances, culminating in a wonderful and very varied concert of winners.”

Ripon Young Musicians of the Year is open to young music students up to the age of 18 living or at school or having music lessons within 15 miles of the centre of Ripon.

This year’s competitors played 12 different instruments – including xylophone, saxophone and tuba – and performed music by more than 40 composers, from Bach to Rogers and Hammerstein.

Described as “a celebration of young talent”, Ripon Young Musicians of the Year has seven classes including one for beginners and a Two Skills class that provides the chance for competitors to play two instruments in succession, or to play and sing.

Flautist Annabelle Dowell won Class 1 (up to and including school Year 4) in the competition and was presented with the Inner Wheel Cup by the President of the Inner Wheel Club of Ripon Rowels, Margaret Metcalfe. Annabelle also won one of the Most Promising awards; the other went to singer Maria Scullion. They also receive tickets to the next concert of the Cathedral Concert Society.

Two of the winners from the Ripon competition – cellist Ben Messenger and xylophonist Will Freeman – will go forward to the district round of the national Rotary Young Musician Competition.

Susie Morgan was the winner of the EPTA cup for Piano Performance, given by the European Piano Teachers Association.

The Class 7 cup, given to the competition by the Hewlett family, was won by clarinettist Tara Hill.

Everyone who played or sang in the competition was given a special certificate.

All the winners performed at the concert that followed the competition, which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Ripon, Coun Mick and Gill Stanley.

The concert also included a performance by Ripon Grammar School String Orchestra, who played Idillio Sinfonico by the Greek-born composer Victor Kioulaphides.

Mr Winpenny said: “We are very grateful to all the competitors, to their teachers, accompanists and parents who support them, to our adjudicator Clive Harries, and to everyone who came along to hear the event.”


CLASS 1 (Up to and including Year 4)

Winner, Section 1 and Class Winner: Helena Kitchingman (piano); Commended: Daniel Wesling (violin); Winner, Section 2 and Class Winner: Annabelle Dowell (flute).

CLASS 2 (Years 5 and 6)

Winner, Section 1 and Class Winner: William Wesling (cello); Highly Commended: Arabella Jaques (voice); Commended: James Cobley (piano), Grace Hughes (violin); Winner, Section 2: Posie Abrahams (voice); Highly Commended: Eva Scullion (trumpet); Commended: Louie Loseby (voice), Caroline Freeman (voice).

CLASS 3 (Ensembles)

Winners, Section 1: EASH (Eva Scullion, Arabella Jaques, Sacha Ali, Hattie Warne, Alexander Abrahams) voice and piano ensemble; Highly Commended: Arabella and Emilia Jaques (violin duet); Winners, Section 2 and Class Winners: Daniel and Joshua Taylor (violin duet); Commended: Amy Johnston and Alexandra Elvidge (violin duet); Commended: Fiddle Fingers Seniors (Lorna Aspinall, Ruth Scholes, Susie Morgan, Christina Scullion, Molly Ireland, Darcy Inchboard, Georgia Stuart-Mills) string ensemble.

CLASS 4 (Two Skills)

Winner, Section 1: Susie Morgan (violin and voice); Highly Commended: James Kitchingman (voice and piano); Winner, Section 2 and Class Winner: William Freeman (piano and xylophone); Highly Commended: Kate Sweet (voice and oboe), Tara Hill (saxophone and flute).

CLASS 5 (Years 7 and 8)

Winner, Section 1 and Class Winner: Susie Morgan (piano); Highly Commended: Alexander Abrahams (piano); Commended: Jessica Earl (piano), Rosie Alvarez (violin); Winner, Section 2: Edward Freeman (trumpet); Commended: Robbie Messenger (bassoon).

CLASS 6 (Years 9 and 10)

Winner, Section 1 and Class Winner: Ben Messenger (cello); Winner, Section 2: Will Freeman (tuba); Commended: Beth Protheroe (flute), Thomas Craddock (flute).

CLASS 7 (Years 11, 12 and 13)

Winner, Section 1: Robert Nicholas (violin); Joint Winners, Section 2: Tara Hill (clarinet), Joy Sutcliffe (voice); Class Winner: Tara Hill (clarinet).

European Piano Teachers Association Cup for Piano Performance – Susie Morgan.

Most Promising Performers – Annabella Dowell (flute), Maria Scullion (voice).

Competitors recommended for the District Round of Rotary Young Musician of the Year – Ben Messenger (cello), William Freeman (xylophone).