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Competition to find city’s top young musician

Published: Thursday, 16th November 2017

The search is on to find Stoke-on-Trent’s top young musician.

Schools and colleges across the city are being encouraged to put their top talent forward, from singers and guitarists to pianists.

Organised by the city council-run City Music Service, the Stoke-on-Trent Young Musician of the Year 2018 competition will see preliminary rounds held on January 29, 30 and 31, with the final at the Bridge Centre, in Birches Head, on April 27.

The competition is split into two categories – junior, which is up to and including year eight; and senior, which is year nine to year 13. The six classes for entries are: strings (orchestral), woodwind (orchestral and band), brass (orchestral and band) piano, voice, and an open class (percussion, keyboard, guitar, recorder, and other instruments).

Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, has worked with former Lord Mayor Tom Brennan to organise the competition. He said: “Tom came to me during my year as Lord Mayor and suggested running a competition for young musicians in the city. The last time we had a competition like this was in 2000 and I’m not sure why it stopped, but we both thought it would be a fantastic idea to bring it back, especially with us bidding for UK City of Culture 2021. We got the wheels in motion to get it back up and running and I’m delighted we’ve been able to do that with the support of the City Music Service.”

Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and economy, said: “It’s a great opportunity for young musicians to show-off their talents, gain self-confidence in performing in public but most importantly enjoy themselves and have some fun. We have some very talented young people in this city and for some of them, this type of competition could be the platform they need to propel them towards a successful career in music.

“It’s all about giving our youngsters the chance to shine. It would be great if we could get every school in the city represented in the competition. Personally I would like to thank the former Lord Mayor Tom Brennan for his excellent suggestion. He was a friend of my father and I know they were both keen to see fresh music talent supported in the city.”

The competition is free to enter but entrants must either live in Stoke-on-Trent, be in full-time education in the city or be a member of one of the City Music Service’s ensembles.

The maximum performance time is three minutes for the preliminary rounds and people need to provide a copy of the music they are performing. The last date for entries is December 4 and the winner will receive prizes including a trophy and invitation to perform at the Victoria Hall in July 2018. Entry forms are available on the City Music Service’s Facebook page or by emailing 

Call the press office on 01782 232987.

City Music Service Facebook