Stranraer Brass Ensemble Wins National Title — 4barsrest

An ensemble of talented young performers from Stranraer Brass have been announced as the first ever “Scottish Young Musicians Brass Ensemble of the Year”.

Following an extensive online competition which attracted entries from across the country, an ensemble from Stranraer Brass has been announced as the first-ever ‘Scottish Young Musicians Brass Ensemble of the Year’.

The Stranraer Brass Ensemble won the prestigious title ahead of rivals East Lothian Schools Brass Ensemble and Perth High School Brass Ensemble. The players come from the Stranraer Brass Band community who recently qualified for the Fourth Section National Final at Cheltenham – their first appearance since 1995.

The ensemble will receive a stunning sculpture by Alexander Stoddart of “The Maid of Morven,” as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to play a top spot in the Solo Performer of the Year finals on May 29 at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland.

Additionally, they received a prize of £750 to spend on ensemble music-related activities, donated by Ursula Jones OBE. The awards will be presented at the Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year final.

The best

The national competition seeks to find the best young musicians from each local authority and independent schools in Scotland to compete against.

It is open to ensembles of up to 10 musicians aged 18 and under, who regularly play together at school or in their local marching band. One entry was allowed for each local authority, independent school group and youth group.

The judges were John Wallace, Convenor of MEPG, Arlene Macfarlane, Director of Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust, and John Miller, ex-Head of Wind & Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music who were delighted not only by the level of the winners but by the overall level of competition.

Speaking of the honor of winning the award, Stranraer Brass Ensemble conductor Angela Miller told 4BR: “I am so proud of these talented young musicians and so happy to see their hard work rewarded. They are a credit to themselves, their families and Stranraer Brass and the future looks very bright for them.”

Positive music experience

Speaking about the success of the event, John Wallace, organizer of the Music Education Partnership Group, said: “I want to directly thank our young Scottish brass and their teachers for an incredibly positive musical experience.

Collectively, your performances were brimming with a wonderful sense of enthusiasm, and you all produce some very beautiful, wholesome sounds. With young players so full of potential, the future is bright!”

The ensemble will receive a stunning sculpture by Alexander Stoddart of ‘The Maid of Morven’, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to perform in the final for Solo Performer of the Year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.4BR

Solo Performer of the Year

The majority of local authorities across Scotland are also currently taking part in the Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year, a new Scotland-wide music competition launched by The Music Education Partnership Group.

With local finals taking place across Scotland, students who qualify for the national final will compete for a plethora of prestigious awards, including opportunities with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Cumnock Tryst and RSNO.

The finale will be hosted by Jamie MacDougall and will be warmly welcomed by international classical violinist Nicola Benedetti.

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