FLAUTIST Jennifer Anne Scholes was named a clear winner in the Kirklees Young Musician of the Year competition.
The 24-year-old Huddersfield University student fought off competition from six other talented players to take the JW Pearce Trophy and £1,000 in prize money at St Paul’s Hall in Huddersfield town centre yesterday.
Jennifer, who comes from Doncaster and is studying music, was competing for the first time.
“It’s amazing, I can’t really believe it,’’ she said.
“I felt I performed to the best of my ability. I tried to treat it just like a concert and just give it a go.”
Jennifer performed Mozart’s Rondo in D-Dur and Chaminade’s Concertino Op 107. She played the second piece from memory.
Adjudicator Prof David Hoult – a professional horn player, singer and conductor – said deciding the winner was a “relatively easy task”.
He praised Jennifer’s “very stylish phrasing and articulation” and her “real technical control and musicianship”.
Prof Hoult told the Examiner: “She’s a very impressive player. The fact that she played her second piece from memory is a great credit to her.”
There was a double success for Doncaster as 21-year-old soprano Maxine Taylor, who is studying music performance at Huddersfield University, took the £500 second prize.
“I’m really happy,” she said.
“The standard was very high.”
The young musician competition is open to 16 to 25-year-olds who live or study in Kirklees.
This year’s entrants included three flautists, one soprano, an organist, a pianist and a soprano saxophonist.
Before announcing the winners, Prof Hoult joked: “Who wants my job?”
He added: “There are much worse ways of spending a wet February afternoon than listening to seven talented musicians.
“It’s very difficult to compare such different musical media. There has to be a health warning attached to an award like this because these young people are doing very different things.”
The young musician contest acts as a precursor to the Mrs Sunderland Music Competition which starts on Friday.
Michael Hampshire, chairman of Mrs Sunderland, said he had been highly impressed by the standard.
He added: “Jennifer was outstanding, the complete package in terms of reassurance, technique.
“You can tell, almost as soon as someone like her comes on to the platform, that they are accomplished.”