It was a welcome return of the Rotary Young Musician Competition to Aberystwyth on Saturday, as an event organised by both Aberystwyth Rotary Club and Ardal Aberystwyth Rotary Club.

The Rotary community has a range of youth competitions held on an annual basis, and it’s up to local clubs to decide which they would like to arrange. The competitions run much in a similar way to Eisteddfodau: a ‘local’ competition, with the winners going on to an ‘area’ competition, national and then UK wide. It’s a fantastic opportunity to provide experience to young people in a range of categories, and for Aberystwyth, the focus this year was on re-instating the Musician competition that has previously been hosted here.

We would like to thank Capel y Morfa, our judges Dr David Russell Hulme and Mrs Jane Leggett, and our accompanist Mrs Lona Phillips – without whom the event wouldn’t have been the success that it was. The chapel provided an excellent venue for the wealth of talent we were to enjoy, and to also be supported by judges with exceptional experience, we knew that our young musicians would find the day a great experience.

For the return of the competition this year, we had two competitions: Instrumentalist and Vocalists. The audience enjoyed programmes from Efa Guo-Humphreys playing the violin, Steffan Nicholas on the cornet, Eleanor Nicholas on the violin and Gruffydd Sion on the euphonium.

Ioan Mabbutt and Fflur McConnell charmed the audience with their programmes in our vocalist category.

The judges provided valuable feedback to all competitors, and selected Gruffydd Sion and Ioan Mabbutt to represent the Rotary clubs of Aberystwyth in the next round – while commending all who took part, and encouraging them to continue in their musical journeys.

Mrs Leggett in particular presented a passionate talk before providing feedback to our vocalists, on the importance of music for young people, and the concern of the lost opportunities locally and further afield as the music ‘industry’ continues to suffer in schools across the county.

Presenting the thanks at the end of the afternoon was Ardal Aberystwyth’s Llywydd, Kerry Ferguson who said that “it was a great pleasure to spend the afternoon in the company of those so talented”.

The Rotary Clubs of Aberystwyth would like to send sincere thanks to Capel y Morfa for the venue, and the following sponsors: Cerdd Ystwyth Music, Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru / Welsh Books Council, The Courtyard, Gwe Cambrian Web, Driftwood Designs, HAKA Entertainment, Gwesty’r Richmond Hotel and Prifysgol Aberystwyth University. Without our sponsors the event wouldn’t have been sponsor.