Highland violinist bows out with style

Winner Rhona Mackintosh (Lochaber High), Sophie Cushnie (Runner Up, Dingwall Acad) and Alexander Scott-Brown (Most Promising Talent, Inv Royal Academy).

Highland violinist bows out with style

Rhona Mackintosh, violinist and S6 leaver at Lochaber High School, was awarded Highland Young Musician of the Year 2017 at Sunday’s competition in the Newton Mutha Hotel, Nairn.

Nine competitors representing a wide range of instruments presented music to the judging panel at Sunday afternoon’s prelim round of the competition.  The judges then invited six of the musicians to perform their complete 15 minute programme at the evening’s public final.

The six finalists were: Sophie Cushnie (Dingwall Academy); Caera Douglas (Millburn Academy); Jonathan Mackay (Dingwall Academy; Rhona Mackintosh (Lochaber High School); Jemimah Morris (Charleston Academy);  Sandy Scott-Brown (Inverness Royal Academy).

In addition to Rhona being awarded the winners accolade and the Richardson Trophy for Musical Excellence, Sophie Cushnie (violin) was deemed runner-up and Sandy Scott-Brown (cello) ‘most promising talent’.

All entrants for this competition are members of one of the Highland Young Musicians music groups.  Rosie Clark (trumpet, Lochaber High School); Catherine Mackay (viola, Dingwall Academy) and Saffron Wittka-Jezewski (piano, Dingwall Academy) also took part in the afternoons prelim round.

The judges (Matthew Chinn, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Ruth Rowlands, RSNO cellist, and Dr. Eddie Campbell, University of Aberdeen) commented on the obvious dedication and high standards of all the competitors.  They were particularly impressed at the Council’s continued support of the musical development of Highland’s young people, affording them opportunities often not available in many other parts of the country and with the way the competitors conversed with the judging panel and conveyed their obvious enjoyment of playing and participating in a wide variety of musical activities.  The official accompanist for the event was Robin Versteeg, who also appreciated the high level of preparation made by the competitors given the short time each of them is allocated to practice with the accompanist.

The three winners prizes are donated by Friend of Highland Young Musicians and the competition would not have gone ahead without the generous sponsorship this year of The Newton Mutha Hotel, Nairn and The Agar Trust.

Further information about The Highland Council instrumental tuition service can be found on the Council website and more information about Highland Young Musicians groups and activities (and online application link for 2017/18 membership) can be obtained at: www.highland-young-musicians.com or by contacting the Council’s Music Development Officer, Norman Bolton at norman.bolton@highland.gov.uk.  HYM are always keen to collaborate with any businesses willing to support the creative and musical development of Highland young people.


19 Jun 2017
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