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Young musicians tune up for competition

Last year's contest winner Viola Wilmsen. Picture: JOHN WARDLEY
Last year's contest winner Viola Wilmsen. Picture: JOHN WARDLEY

THE finalists in the Maidstone and Mid-Kent Young Musician of the Year Competition have just been announced.

Nine talented young musicians under the age of 19, with grade seven or higher in their chosen instruments, will now battle it out for the title at the Corn Exchange, Maidstone, on May 20.

The competition, in its sixth year, is organised by the Maidstone Rotary Club and the Dawn Patrol Rotary Club, also based in the County Town.

Finalists who entered last year and have decided to enter again are Nicola Ridgeway, 17, of Maidstone Girls' Grammar School, who plays the recorder, Naomi Elliott, 18, of Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone, an oboe player, and pianist Edward Cohen, 17, of Tonbridge School.

There are six other entrants, all of whom are taking part for the first time. They are Rebecca Garland, 16, of Maidstone, an oboe-player at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester, 15-year-old violinist Peter Verheul (CORR), of Maidstone Grammar School and Elsbeth Robertson, 12, of Ashford School for Girls, on the recorder.

Three other new entrants are all pupils from Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone. They are Linda Hetherington, 18, on the bassoon, Vicky Shilling, 17, on the viola, and Rebecca Eden-Green, 18, on the clarinet.

This year's judges are musicians Paul Manley, Mary Mathuem, and Adrian Goff, and the competition is run in conjunction with Kent Music School, in Astley House, Hastings Road, Maidstone.

Last year's winner, 17-year-old ex-Sutton Valance School pupil Viola Wilmsen, won the judges over with her performance of Bellini's Concert for Oboe, followed by Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso on the piano.

Tickets for the performance are available now, at £10 for adults and £3.50 for children and students, from 01622 213707.

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