Spotlight shines on area's young musical talent in top contest

The skills of young musicians from Ripon and the surrounding area have been celebrated in the 15th Ripon Young Musicians of the Year competition at the city's Holy Trinity Church last weekend.

Monday, 14th November 2016, 10:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:50 pm

This year’s competition, organised by The Inner Wheel Club of Ripon Rowels, the Rotary Club of Ripon and the Rotary Club of Ripon Rowels, was adjudicated by soprano Lynne Dawson, Head of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, who is known world-wide for her performance as the soloist at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in September 1997.

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 included the youngest-ever entry, four-year-old Yash Mukerji.

A wide variety of different instruments were played, including tuba and flugelhorn, and music by more than 40 composers was performed, from Bach to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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.

French horn player Harry Warner-Reed won Class 1 (up to and including school year 4) in the competition and was presented with the Inner Wheel Cup by the Vice-President of the Inner Wheel Club of Ripon Rowels, Dorothy Darbyshire. Charles Monck from the Cathedral Concert Society presented winners of all the classes with tickets to the Society’s next concert.

Yuan Xu was the winner of the EPTA cup for Piano Performance, given by the European Piano Teachers Association, and Puyuan Ge won the ‘Most Promising’ award for his violin playing. The Class 7 cup, given to the competition by the Hewlett family, was won by tuba player Will Freeman.

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.

David Winpenny, who founded Ripon Young Musicians of the Year, said: “Celebrating the young musical talent in Ripon and the surrounding area is always a great pleasure, and we congratulate everyone who took part in the competition.

“We are very grateful to all them, to their teachers, accompanists and parents who support them, to our adjudicator Lynne Dawson, and to everyone who has supported the competition.”


Class 1 (Up to and including Year 4) - Winner, Harry Warner-Reed, French Horn.

Class 2 (Years 5 and 6) - Winner Section 1 and Class winner, Yuan Xu, Piano; Highly commended, Puyuan Ge, violin. Winner Section 2, Hattie Attwood, voice.

Class 3 Ensembles - winners, Section 1, Quin Yi Yaw and Shen Jie Yaw and Class winners, Piano duet; Winners, Section 2, Gawain and Alexandra Romyn, vocal duet.

Class 4, two skills - winner, section 1 and class winner, Eva Scullion, trumpet and voice; Highly commended, Eleanor Kidd, Piano and Clarinet; Winner, Section 2, Alfred McEvoy, Piano and Voice.

Class 5 (Years 7 and 8) - winner, Section 1 and class winner, Ava Brûlé-Walker, violin; Highly Commended, Amy Goodwin, Piano; Winner, Section 2, Flossie Attwood, voice.

Class 6 (Years 9 and 10) - winner, Section 1, James Kitchingman, Piano; Winner, Section 2 and Class winner, Gabriel Balme, Voice; Highly Commended, Edward Freeman, Flugelhorn.

Class 7 (Years 11, 12 and 13) - Winner, Section 1, Joel Ho, Piano; Winner, Section 2 and class winner, Will Freeman, Tuba; Highly Commended, Beth Protheroe, flute. The European Piano Teachers Association Cup for Piano Performance: Yuan Xu; Most Promising Performer: Puyuan Ge, Violin.