Two new music competitions for Scottish children

The search is now on for Solo Performer of the Year and Brass ensemble of the Year at the new festival of music competitions in Scotland.

Following the success of the North Ayrshire Young Musician Competition which ran for over 20 years and saw up to 20,000 people participate, The Music Education Partnership Group is now launching two competitions across Scotland.

Expected as the next major musical development in Scotland, the Solo Performer of the Year and Brass ensemble of the Year seek to find the best musicians in each Local Authority and from independent schools to compete with each other. and performed in a grand final at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2022.

The competitions will give school students the opportunity to achieve their ambitions through their musical talent, develop their life skills and have fun. Admission is open to every student at the school who sings or plays an instrument, and thousands are expected to participate. There are two competitions taking place in the finals in 2022.

Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year is open to everyone learning to sing or play an instrument at a school in Scotland. Each local authority will receive funding and support to allow each secondary component to participate.

Each will have a process of selecting a winner and will have a finalist selected from those attending independent schools. The first final Solo Performer of the Year will be held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow on 29 May 2022 and will be judged by adjudicators of international reputation.

The winner of the national competition will receive a stunning sculpture by Sandy Stoddart of the Maid of Morven playing the harp, as well as the opportunity to work, play and learn with several musicians in an international class with links to music colleges for those considering a career in music

Scottish Young Musicians Brass ensemble of the Year is an online music competition open to ensembles of up to 10 players aged 18 and under who play regularly at school or with their local brass youth band. . There will also be a group selected from those attending independent schools. Admission is by video submission and must include two different pieces lasting no more than 10 minutes. Closing date for entries is March 25, 2022 and results will be announced on April 25, 2022.

The winning ensemble will get a full cost paid trip to play a major slot in the Solo Performer of the Year final on Sunday 29 May at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They will also receive a trophy and a prize of £ 750 to be spent on music -related activities, generously donated by the late Philip Jones CBE and wife Ursula Jones OBE.

To enable as many young people as possible to take part in the competitions, there is no minimum age or standard. All competition fees will be covered, and finalists and their parent or guardian will receive travel and accommodation expenses as needed. The hope is that every student at the school has the opportunity to take part if they wish, and there is confidence that finalists from across Scotland will be a quality where they can become professional musicians.

Nicola Benedetti and Sir James MacMillan were both supporters of the competition.

As well as seeking support on a national level, Scottish Young Musicians are looking for businesses to engage on a local level to support Young Musicians ’competition with their local authority. Find out how you can help the new annual competition come out at

Alan Kerr, head of Scottish Young Musicians, said: ‘Providing performance opportunities for young musicians contributes to their confidence, well -being and abilities not only within music but in their life skills. This music festival brings the benefits of music teaching to attention as it supports learning throughout the curriculum. Playing at the same festival brings friendships through observation, meeting and learning from others, and can also be a pleasure. ‘

John Wallace, coordinator of the Music Education Partnership Group, said: ‘Performing music to the best of our ability no matter what age we are is as good as getting it. This inspiring festival of music making gives the youth of Scotland the opportunity to fill our need in the world with beautiful, healing and inspiring sounds. ‘

Nicola Benedetti said: ‘We are entering a rare and beautiful moment in Scottish history, where a wonderful combination of individuals and organizations tirelessly work together to achieve the highest possible inclusion and excellence in music, all equally committed to enriching our national story and heritage, moreover, we have a new commitment to the government to make education to young people free for the youth of Scotland. It feels like a thrilling time for classical music in Scotland and the perfect moment to launch Scottish Young Musician to celebrate brilliant young musical talent across the country. I’m excited to see how it develops. ‘

Sir James Macmillan said: ‘I am excited to see the emergence of new competitions which will be of immense help and encouragement for the aspirations of thousands of Scottish musicians. As they say, it’s not the win that matters-it’s the part and learning a lot about oneself as an emerging musician, which is comparable and comparable to the progress of a young colleague. ‘

For more information, visit

Leave a Comment