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The James Etherington Music Award 2024

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Supported by the Rotary Club of Chester-le-Street.

The shortlisted James Etherington Young Musician Award finalists and Paul Leach, who had just presented the various winners’ awards: (L-R) Isabel Sheen, Flute; Tilly Stacey, Tenor Saxophone; Leo Bruce, Bassoon; Samantha Johnson, Alto Saxophone; (Paul Leach, behind); Daniel Marsh, Tenor Horn; Henry Geng, Violin; and Imogen Payne, Soprano.

ChesterleStreet’s annual music competition to further the musical education of talented young musicians resident in the ‘DH’ postal area, took place on Saturday 3rd February at 7.00 pm at the Methodist Church in Chester le Street. A distinguished judging panel of nine specialist local musicians and music teachers (Trustees of The James Etherington Music Award) decided that the winner’s trophy (plus a prize of £500) should go to Daniel Marsh for an outstanding performance on the Tenor Horn. He began playing this instrument aged 14 and had become principal Tenor Horn of the National Youth Brass Band by the time he was 17.

This year the competition received a higher number of entries compared with almost any previous year, and each of the seven candidates eventually shortlisted performed using a different instrument/voice. The standard was uniformly high, with a rather younger than usual age range amongst the final competitors.

As a result, two Runner-Up Equal prizes of £250 each were awarded - with the Margaret Crawford Trophy shared for 6 months each - one to Leo Bruce (Bassoon) and the other to Samantha Johnson (Alto Saxophone). Samantha performed a beautiful local composer’s three-movement tribute to the twin Tyne Rivers: ‘The Sources’; ‘Watersmeet’ (the town where they meet); and ‘Sandgate Jig’ (for the keel boats of Newcastle)’.

Mr Paul Leach, a longstanding teaching colleague of Margaret Crawford at Park View School, had kindly agreed to present all the competition awards this year.
They included £75 to each of the other competitors, with an extra £100 (thanks to an additional donation from the Rotary Club) awarded in memory of the late Methodist Church Organist and Rotary Member, Mr Robert Watson. This wasawarded to Isabel Sheen (Flute), aged 14,as one of the younger competitors,for demonstrating particular potential for her age and experience.

(Photo Rachel Orr)

PR Contact: Francis Phillips, Rotary Club of Chester le Street (mob) 07710 743626


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