Prestigious music competition is set for another strong final

There are six extremely talented local musicians lined up for the final of the ‘PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year’ competition this year.

Each finalist has already won the island title for their respective instrument category and they are all strong contenders for the ‘PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year’ title. They don’t have much longer to put the finishing touches to their performances ahead of the competition final, which takes place next month on Saturday 21 March, 7pm at the Jersey Opera House.

The six finalists are (in alphabetical order by surname):

  • Katharine Beirne, Flute, Winner of the Island Music Woodwind Heat.
  • Todd Buesnel, Trumpet, Winner of the Johnny Begley Brass Heat.
  • Rachel Hayden, Voice, Winner of the Jersey Vocal Trust Vocal Heat.
  • Bryony O’Hare, Piano, Winner of the Wendy Falla Piano Heat.
  • Nicole Taylor, Percussion, Winner of the Denys Hacquoil Percussion Heat.
  • Samuel Walwyn, Guitar, Winner of the Island Music String Heat.

The recent heats saw the inclusion for the second year running of the Vocal Heat, sponsored by the Jersey Vocal Trust. Ian Kennedy (the visiting Vocal adjudicator) from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama spoke extremely highly of the standard of the competition.

Each finalist will perform a short programme of music, which they have selected to showcase their musicality and power of expression whilst demonstrating their performance and technical skills across a variety of musical periods and styles. The competitors will be adjudicated by an external judge who will bring an impressive range of technical knowledge and performance experience.

As well as being awarded the ‘PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year’ trophy and a cheque for £200, the overall winner will receive a trip for themselves and a friend or family member to attend a concert of their choice in the UK. They will also be invited to give a recital in the summer.  In addition, the Jersey Symphony Orchestra Award will go to one of the finalists whose performance demonstrates potential to benefit from a structured programme of participation with the JSO over the following year.  

Dr Graham Cox, Head of Jersey Music Service, said:  “It was really pleasing to see that the heats in January were of such a high standard and the field for the final looks very strong indeed. I think we can expect some exciting performances and a really varied programme from the finalists. The judges have a difficult task ahead, deciding who the deserved winner of this prestigious accolade should be.”

Karl Hairon, Partner at PwC, commented: “As long-term sponsor of this competition, it’s remarkable to see the incredibly high standard of performances from the young, gifted and disciplined musicians taking part each year. The ‘PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year’, now in its 23rd year, remains very well supported by the local community. Since its inception, this competition has a great track  record of inspiring many participants to drive forward with their musical careers and I am sure there are a number in this year’s competition who will go on to experience tremendous musical success. All six finalists should certainly be very proud of their achievements to date. I’m confident that this year’s final will be another hugely enjoyable night of musical entertainment, at which we’ll be left amazed by the young finalists’ talents as they captivate us with their selected programmes.”

Tickets for the final are available to the public now from the Jersey Opera House Box Office and online, priced at £7.50 for adults with free admission for students in full time education.

Winners of the PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year competition since it
began in 1993

1993 : Michael Eouzan, Euphonium

1994 : Claire Pinel, Flute

1995 : Luke Brown, Tenor Horn

1996 : James Southall, Piano

1997 : James Southall, Cello

1998 : Christopher George, Piano

1999 : Laura Smith, Flute

2000 : Dominic Pallot, Trombone

2001 : Julie Robinson, Violin

2002 : Russell Abraham, Percussion

2003 : Robbie Harvey, Trombone

2004 : Jocelyn Crowcroft, Piano

2005 : Louise Morgan, Percussion

2006 : Edward Bailhache, Piano

2007 : Samuel Bisson, Piano

2008 : Jennah Smart, Flute

2009 : Georgina Sutton, Piano

2010 : Jack Chown, Percussionist 

2011 : Toby Huelin, Piano

2012 : Krystian Lamb, Piano

2013 : Elliott Samphier, Violin

2014 : Lillian Garnier, Piano