After two years of virtual competition the RGC Young Musician of the Year was thankfully able to move back from online to in person this year. With live heats in the Craig Centre for Performing Arts before the Easter holiday leading to the grand final which took place in the MacRobert Hall last night.
There were seven performers in total: three from S1-S3 and four from S4-S6. The younger age group kicked things off with lovely performances from Grace H on piano, Ananth S on clarinet, and Daniel M who sang. Then the older pupils took over with Ella S on cello, Caitlin W on piano, Kory B on violin and Louis K on organ. This was the first time an organist had reached the final and was the main reason why we hosted the event in the MacRobert Hall instead of our usual home in the Craig Centre.
All the finalists performed incredibly well, giving the two highly experienced judges, Neil Meldrum, Class of ‘63, retired Head of Music at Harlaw Academy and Susan Brown, Music Teacher at St Margaret’s School for Girls, a very tough decision to make while the audience had a well-earned break and enjoyed the chance to chat about the evening’s music.
In the end, though, there could only be one winner for each age group and Grace H (S2) and Ella S (S6) were duly announced to great acclaim. It had been a lovely evening, all the more so for being in person again after almost three years. Congratulations to all the performers, many thanks to the judges, and here’s to the next time!
The two winners have been invited to perform again at the Summer Concert next week on 31st May, again in the MacRobert Hall. Tickets are available to purchase via the school office.
Learn more about our performers below:
Daniel M (S1)
My love of singing is thanks to the RGC Junior School’s Mrs Massie. I joined her choir in P4 and I realised my love of performing when I played one of the Josephs in the school’s production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat later that year. Not long after, I began singing lessons with Rachael Watson, who taught me how to accompany myself on the piano. I also play the saxophone and I enjoy school lessons with Dr Kate Friday and playing in the school bands.
Grace H (S2)
"I have been playing piano for 7 years with my teacher, Dr Barbara Payne. I have participated in the Aberdeen and North East Music
Festival every year. One of my most distinct memories is winning the Margaret Charles Rosebowl for 2 years in a row! In my spare time, I enjoy composing short songs and playing soundtracks from video games such as Minecraft."
Ananth S (S3)
"My name is Ananth Subramaniam, and I am in S3. I have been playing the clarinet for the past 5 years and I am currently working towards my Grade 6 exam. Having previously been a member of the Intermediate Concert Band, I have progressed to the Senior Concert Band within the school. I also study Indian Carnatic Vocal Music and am working towards my Grade 7 exam."
Caitlin W (S5)
"I have been playing the piano for just under four years. Although I have not sat any piano exams yet, I am currently working, with my instructor Ruth Howarth, towards my Grade 8, which I plan to sit later this year. I love playing the piano but also play the violin and clarinet, on both of which I have achieved my Grade 8, with distinction and merit respectively."
Kory B (S5)
"I began playing violin in 2013 and am currently taught by Guera Crockett working towards my grade 8 exam in Summer. I also play the harp, for which I gained a grade 8 with distinction last year. Pre-covid, I played in various groups around Aberdeen in the Scottish traditional music scene. Since S1 I've been a member of the school's senior string orchestra and ceilidh band. I’ve also played violin in the Scottish National Youth Orchestra, performed at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and won my category in the last World Burns Federation competition in 2019. I enjoy listening to Bartók Romanian Folk Dances."
Ella S (S6)
"I started playing the cello at the end of primary three and have loved the instrument and its versatility ever since. Some of my musical highlights include participating in the 2019 Music Tour to Italy with the College and recently being part of a chamber music group at RGC. Lockdown was also an important time for my musical development where I continued with online music lessons, began to investigate the diversity of the cello and also recorded parts for friend’s compositions. Some of my favourite pieces to play include The Swan by Saint-Saëns and Après Un Rêve by Fauré."
Louis K (S6)
"I began playing the organ at the age of 14, the harpsichord and music theory at the age of 6. Today, I am an Organ Scholar at the North East of Scotland Music School, where I also play the harpsichord, study the figured bass and perform as a singer. I am part of the Organ Team at my local church in Portlethen. I regularly provide organ music for Sunday service, where I play hymns, chorales, various organ pieces, and improvisations."