Young Musician of the Year Awards 2024

7 May 24

On Wednesday night, our School Hall was filled with music as our students took the stage for the Young Musician of the Year Awards and Concert. Our students showed their incredible musical ability and diversity with performances including everything from Chopin to Iron Maiden.

Congratulations to Liam in Year 7, George in Year 11 and Harriet in Year 12 for taking home the top prizes of the night, as well as Luca in Year 9, Ethan in Year 10 and Mia in Year 12 for being selected runners up.

Of the evening, Headteacher Peter Lynch said, ‘It is an incredible honour to lead the school on a night like this. All the performers are exceptional and have shown commitment to our values to be brave and be the best you.’

Over 40 students auditioned for the contest with 18 selected to represent the Lower School (Years 7-9), Upper School (Years 10-11) and Sixth Form (Years 12-13) in the final performance. They showcased their talent to a packed house of family and friends with pieces performed on piano, drums, guitar, trombone, cornet, violin, saxophone, flute and voice.

Our awards evening was adjudicated by special guest Tim Harrison, former Sheldon music teacher and current Assistant Director of Music at QEH School. He is also the conductor of Bristol Youth Orchestra and Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra. Along with the unenviable task of selecting the winners of our three categories, Mr Harrison also took the time to give each student feedback on their performances.

Mr Harrison was clearly impressed by the talent on the Sheldon stage and their technical ability. His three tips to all performers where to enhance their performances primarily related to stagecraft. He reminded our students to:

  1. Look after tempo and use a metronome in every practice
  2. Engage with the audience and remember that they will enjoy the performance even more when they feel included
  3. Don’t feel shy to take your bow and embrace your moment on stage

We couldn’t hold events like this without a team of talented individuals behind the scenes. Thank you to our music teacher, Laura Hall, for organising the event and for sharing her passion for music with our students.

We’d also like to thank our individual music teachers for working so hard with our students and encouraging them to take the stage. Thank you to Clare Hodgkin for providing piano accompaniment and to Sixth Form music technology student, Anna, for running flawless sound on the night.

Many of our students commented that music is an important part of their life and helps them with their emotional wellbeing. Many of them developed their passions for music during lockdown and continue to use music as a form of comfort and escape. Thank you to everyone for supporting all our young musicians throughout the years. All of our performers have put in hours of practice and dedication to their art and that would not be possible without the support of their families.

Meet our Winners

Lower School Winner - Liam

Liam is currently in Year 7 and has been playing the trombone since he was 5 years old. He became inspired to pick up the brass instrument after watching a screening of the Snowman and the Bear with live orchestral accompaniment. Mr Harrison praised Liam for his exceptional performance, showing excellent control, tone and intonation. He noted that it takes a lot of courage to command the stage in Year 7 and was impressed with Liam’s choice to play brass because ‘the world needs more brass players!’

Upper School Winner - George

George is in Year 11 and has been a passionate percussionist for 8 years. He enjoys playing a range of genres and experimenting with different styles. For his performance, George treated the audience to heavy metal drumming that he described as ‘super technical, super loud and basically five minutes of all around constant, non-stop noise!’ Mr Harrison said that George’s performance was visually very striking and very cool. He explained that George had ‘good control of the kit’ and that his style of playing ‘requires energy and he gave it to us in abundance.’

Sixth Form Winner - Harriet

Harriet is in Year 12 and recently passed her Grade 8 exam in flute. She has played for 7 years a fan of classical music, as well as Disney classics. Mr Harrison praised Harriet’s technical assurance and impressive breath control. Harriet is a deaf musician and has worked with our peripatetic music teacher, Mr Fosker, to develop innovative ways for her to access music and play with accompaniment. As Harriet says, ‘flute will always be a massive part of my life and I’m looking forward to all the pieces I’ve yet to discover and all the musicians I’ll get to play with!’

Lower School Performers

Winner: Liam, Year 7 
Runner Up: Luca, Year 9

Upper School Performers

Winner - George, Year 11
Runner Up - Ethan, Year 10

Sixth Form Performers

Winner - Harriet, Year 12
Runner Up - Mia, Year 12
I was head girl in 2015 and loved being able to speak to parents about my time at Sheldon when they were considering where their children should go. Because of how it has shaped me as a person I feel I am who I am today because of my time there.
Alice Parham - Marketing Assistant for THG Labs