Young cellist competes at national final

Cellist Ben Messenger, who is a pupil at Boroughbridge High School.
Cellist Ben Messenger, who is a pupil at Boroughbridge High School.

Ben Messenger, the 15-year-old cellist who was one of the 2014 Ripon Young Musicians of the Year, has vied with other top young players in the final of the prestigious Rotary Young Musician competition.

After triumphing in the Ripon event, Ben went on to win his place in the final by winning both the district and regional rounds of the competition, which is run by Rotary International Britain and Ireland.

He was up against seven other instrumentalists from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, as well as from London, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Surrey. The winner of the instrumental section was an 18-year-old pianist from the Isle of Arran. The vocal section was won by the only male singer, from Warrington.

Ben, who lives in Helperby and is a student at Boroughbridge High School, was always determined to learn the cello and studies with Sue Lowe, one of the country’s best cello teachers.

David Winpenny, who founded Ripon Young Musicians of the Year in 2001, said: “Ben played brilliantly in the competition, and the standard of performance was exceptionally high. Though he didn’t win, he acquitted himself very well, and won praise for his performance of pieces by Fauré and J C Bach. We are all very proud of what he’s achieved.”

The 2015 Ripon Young Musicians competition will take place at Holy Trinity Church in Ripon on November 20 and 21. It aims to encourage musical talent of young people who live, or are at school or have private music lessons within 15 miles of the centre of Ripon.