MGSO4 Festival's Young Musician of The Year Competition 2016

Young Musician of The Year

As part of the first ever MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival, a competition has been launched to find the borough's most talented musicians, aged 18 and under.

The competition is open to all young musicians (including singers) and entrants may select one of two categories: classical or contemporary. There are no minimum grade requirements, no age categories and the competition will be judged on performance and potential.

Anyone wishing to enter will need to submit by email a link to a YouTube video of themselves performing a solo piece of their choosing, that is a maximum of 5 minutes long. Musicians may be accompanied if appropriate.

It is important that the YouTube videos are not edited in anyway and that they represent a completely live performance.

A first and second place winner will be selected from each category.

The competition is sponsored by Yamaha, and guitarguitar who said:
"We are proud to be supporting the Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival along with Yamaha. The opportunity to help with the development of excellent young musicians and performers is too good for us to miss. So many of our staff and customers rely on a burgeoning creative community to allow them to connect with other musicians in the area, and to help pursue their musical ambitions, and this competition and event are at the very heart of this."

Photograph by Nik Bartrum 2016

Who can enter?

The competition is open to anyone at school and/or living in the Borough of Epsom and Ewell, aged 18 or under on 1st September 2015.


First prize winners will each receive music vouchers to the value of £75 and second prize winners will each receive music vouchers to the value of £25.

One overall winner will be awarded a Yamaha Revstar RS 320 electric guitar worth £300, courtesy of Yamaha and Epsom's guitarguitar store.

All winners will have the opportunity to perform on stage at the festival's ‘Derby Square Live’ on Sunday 26th June.

All four winners will also be invited back to perform at the next MGSO4 Festival.

Meet the judges

Nicholas McCarthy

Nicholas McCarthy is a successful concert pianist, currently touring the UK.

Born without a right hand, Nicholas was the first left-hand-only pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music in London in its 130-year history.

He was raised in Tadworth and has performed alongside Coldplay, presented a TED talk at the Royal Albert Hall, guest presented the BBC Proms and has just released an album, Solo, on the Warner Classics label.

Brenda Rattray

Brenda Rattray works internationally as performer, composer and arranger, poet, choir conductor and Voice Expressive workshop leader.

Her clients include The BBC Concert and Symphony Orchestras, The Maze Prison, The English National Opera, The Royal National Institute for the Blind. She teaches at Goldsmiths University and is currently running a confidence through voice project for St Mungo's homeless charity.

Brenda composed The Smile Behind the Eyes, Reach for the Positive and her own songbook The Joy of Singing published by Faber.

Daniel Hammersley

Daniel has been Principal Cello with Royal Northern Sinfonia since 2012. He has appeared with Sting as principal cello of the European leg of the Symphonicities tour and with Danish art-rockers Efterklang as well as making regular appearances with Anna Meredith, including at Latitude and Glastonbury festivals.

He was a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for almost ten years, under the directorship of two great maestros; Daniele Gatti and Charles Dutoit, and included numerous tours of North America and Europe as well as visits to China, Korea and Japan. Daniel is in great demand as a cellist and works regularly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, particularly during the Proms season.

Top tips

Ben Tompsett, MGSO4 Festival's Music Lead says:

The judges will be looking for good musicianship and performance ability.
Your chosen piece can be anything you like, even an original composition/song if you wish. But you aren't required to submit a score with your entry.
Don't worry too much about the sound quality of your YouTube submission. The judges are experienced and will be able to identify your ability and potential.

Good luck

Entry rules

  1. 1. The Competition is open to all individual instrumentalists and singers, who will be aged 18 or under on 31st August 2016.

  2. 2. To apply, please email a YouTube link of your performance, stating your full name, address and date of birth to, to be received no later than 5th June 2016, 11.59pm.
    Please also state which category you wish to enter for, classical or contemporary. The email address for use in correspondence must be that of a parent/guardian.

  3. 3. Proof of age of competitors may be required on request. This can either be a copy of a passport, ID card or birth certificate.
  4. 4. Winners should be able to perform their chosen piece live in Derby Square on Sunday 26th June subject to the piece's approval by the Music Lead, Ben Tompsett.
  5. 5. All winners will need to provide their own accompanist (if required) for the live performance in Derby Square on Sunday 26th June 2016.
  6. 6. Competitors will be advised by Tuesday 7th June 2016 whether or not they have selected as a winner (1st or 2nd place) in either of the categories.
  7. 7. There is no entry fee
  8. 8. Winners are required to provide their own instruments/equipment for the live performance in Derby Square. The performance will be on a covered stage and there will be a PA for amplification where necessary. A good quality digital piano will be also be available for any pianists (including accompanists).
  9. 9. Winners agree that their competition performance(s) may be recorded or broadcast in any media form by the MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival for use at the Trustees’ discretion wholly or in part, without payment of any fee to the winner, to promote the Competition & Festival and/or to raise funds to support the Competition & Festival.
  10. 10. As a matter of custom and rule no First Prize Winner in either category may enter the Competition again in a subsequent year, even if in a different category.
  11. 11. The MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Young Musicians’ Competition reserves the right to amend any of the entrance qualifications and rules stated.
  12. 12.YouTube requires account holders to be 18, but a 13-year-old can sign up with a parent or carer's permission. Therefore all YouTube links submitted will be considered to have been done so by a parent/carer of a young person under 12 years, or with the permission of a parent/carer of those 13 years and over.

  13. 13. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.