Bill Armiger presenting a £1,000 cheque on 12 July at the Cheltenham Music Festival recital of winner Isaac Williams, pictured left. (Photo courtesy of Rob Lacey).
This grant from the HCG Trust was to help the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra (GSO) with the costs of organising the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year Contest and the Winner’s Concerto Concert in November.
GSO was founded 122 years ago and aims to bring classical music into the community and make it accessible to all. GSO stages children’s concerts, invites students into rehearsals and has run numerous workshops with children. At the other end of the age spectrum, its members visit retirement homes and perform to residents.
The GSO, with partners, took over the organisation of the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year contest in 2014 to encourage talented young musicians, to give them a performance platform and help them progress musically. An average of 15 students, up to the age of 21, enter the contest each year. About 60 percent come from state schools and the rest from independents. The contest winner receives a cheque and the Hewitt-Jones Trophy and the all-important performance platforms at Cheltenham Music Festival, a concert with GSO at Pittville, another with Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and if the winner is also the audience’s choice they will play at the Carducci Festival.