IF YOU want to hear some of the area’s best young musicians then St Paul’s Hall in the town centre is the place to be on Sunday afternoon.
Thirteen of the finest singers and musicians in Kirklees will compete for the title of Kirklees Young Musician of the Year and prize money totalling £1,700.
The competition has long been one of the highlights of the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival, the area’s biggest competitive festival for musicianship, singing, speech and drama.
But this year for the first time, the Kirklees Young Musician title will be competed for in a stand-alone event held as a curtain-raiser for the main festival which begins next Friday (February 20).
And if Sunday’s contest does not whet your appetite to head for the eight day festival to hear more musical talent then nothing will.
The full festival will feature everything from piano solos to music theatre performances and pieces from choirs and instrumental ensembles.
Joseph Cullen, director of the London Symphony Chorus and Chorus Master of the Huddersfield Choral Society will be the adjudicator for Sunday’s competition which begins at 2pm.
The winner will receive £1,000 with £500 for the runner-up and £200 for third place.
Twenty-year-old Thomas Carr, a final year music student at the university of Huddersfield will open the competition with piano pieces by Copland, Fauré and Rachmaninov.
He will be followed by flautist Cadence Dollive who is 24 and was born in Kirklees. She played with the Manchester University Orchestra for two years.
Three more Huddersfield University students, all of them 21, feature in the first half of the concert.
Lorna Bursell is a soprano, Gareth Roberts plays trumpet and cornet and is in both the university’s chamber orchestra and Huddersfield Philharmonic and Elizabeth Hayward is an organist.
Nineteen-year-old Sarah Feehan, born in Kirklees and educated in York, plays piano and will go to Royal Holloway in the autumn.
At 17, Johnathan Beevers is the youngest competitor seeking the title. He plays percussion and is a student at Shelley College and also at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music.
Pianist Sam Brook is 24 and gained a BMus (Hons) from RNCM and the postgraduate diploma in performance with distinction.
Third year Huddersfield University student Helen Clavering (22) will play euphonium and her fellow BMus student Megan Nelson (21), who is in both Huddersfield Choral Society and St Peter’s Parish Church choir will compete as a mezzo-soprano.
Clarinet player Jennifer Hewitt (21) graduated from the university where she is now studying for her master’s degree in performance.
Two brass players complete the day’s competitors.
Rebecca Robertson is 20 and is currently a third year student at the Royal Northern College of Music while Nick Walker (23) went to King James School and Greenhead College.
Rebecca will play trumpet and Nick is a trombonist.
Tickets are £4 (£3 concessions) on the door.
The sponsors are the J W Pearce Prize Trust, Kirklees Cultural and Recreational Services, the Music Department of the University of Huddersfield and the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival.