Arun Young Musicians' gala concert celebrates a fine array of talents

Arun Young Musicians
Arun Young Musicians

REVIEW BY Marilyn Hurdwell

We were in for a treat on a sunny November afternoon where, in the presence of Rotary President Bruce Green and the Mayor of Littlehampton Billy Blanchard-Cooper, some of our most talented young local musicians took to the stage at the annual AYM Gala Concert

In the past we have enjoyed the hospitality of various venues, but today it was the turn of The Littlehampton Academy (TLA) to host this prestigious event. Well organised and supported mainly by members and friends of the Littlehampton Rotary Club, we enjoyed a plethora of superb performances, ranging from choirs, vocals, piano, guitar, flute, recorder, cello and violin, given by youngsters of all ages.

Once again George Jones was our genial compere, and our intrepid adjudicator Ben Costello, previously assisted by fellow adjudicator Adrian Goss, had the difficult task of choosing the major prize-winners. During Ben’s deliberations, we were royally entertained as customary by last year’s s Winner, in this case James Dew on ‘cello, ably accompanied by Chris Coote. Since then James has enjoyed many successes, culminating in his being selected to join the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

All today’s excited performers were invited back on stage for the results! Bruce Green presented The Paul Backwell Trophy to vocalist Amelie Beauchamp, and the Rustington Music Group Trophy went to instrumentalist Ivo Eastwood (piano) Both these winners are under 12. The Susanna Flegg Trophy was awarded to vocalist Barty Hawkins and the Raven Cup went to instrumentalist Hannah Woods (also piano). The Ruth Dyson Trophy for Ensemble was won by singers Abigail Boyle, Jessica Jezzard and Nevaeh Lee.

The Angmering Chorale Bursary was presented to senior vocalist Emily Williams, and the Sinfonia of Arun Bursary was awarded to instrumentalist Lucia Peel (recorder) The Rotary Club of Littlehampton Award was won by Ben Ward (guitar) and the Arun Choral Society Shield & Award were presented to TLA (Choir of the Year) The Vi Casey Trophy was won by vocalist Ashtyn Roworth as Runner-up to Arun Young Musician, with the title of ARUN YOUNG MUSICIAN 2018 being finally bestowed on violinist HARRY WARD

Hearty Votes of thanks & congratulations were offered by AYM Chairman John Mitchell to TLA, AYM Committee members, Teachers, Parents, Volunteers and Supporters as well as to Ben Costello, George Jones, James Dew, Accompanists, Conductors and every single competitor – they were all worthy winners! To sum up, George emphasized the need for schools and colleges to promote music-making and to recognise the importance of the Arts in the Curriculum generally. Amen to that!

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