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April, 6

Newbattle High pupil on song to reach Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year final

On April 4, in St John’s and Kings Park Church, Dalkeith, solo musicians from secondary schools across Midlothian competed for a spot in the Scottish Young Musicians final which will take place on May 29 this year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Following a string of excellent live performances Newbattle pupil Joe Gillan (17) was announced as the winner by adjudicators Karine Polwart and Andrew Patterson. Joe performed Metropolis Part 1 from The Miracle and the Sleeper.

Two runner up prizes were awarded to Louise Simpson (xylophone) and Anja French (vocalist).

Both Karine and Andrew commented how high the standard was from all 10 finalists involved. There was also much praise for the younger participants who showed amazing potential on the night.

Karine said: “Joe was fabulous and will do Midlothian proud, such an embodied performer, and technically dazzling.”

While Andrew said: “All 10 finalists were outstanding and did their school and teachers proud. Congratulations to Joe on his fantastic performance on bass guitar.”

The next step of the competition takes Joe to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to compete in the national final in May. The overall winner of the National competition will receive a sculpture by Alexander Stoddart of the Maid of Morven playing the Clarsach, as well as the opportunity to work, play and learn with some world class musicians with links to music colleges for future considerations of a career in music.

Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year is a new Scotland-wide music competition launched by The Music Education Partnership Group, Scotland’s only music competition where funding and expertise is offered to every school and local authority, giving all pupils in the country the chance to take part. The majority of local authorities across Scotland are also taking part in the competition, with many more hosting local finals in the coming months to determine who will represent their area in the national final.

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