Talented musical youngsters could put Flintshire town firmly on the map

Reporter:

Staff reporter

NORTH East Wales’ newest music competition is aiming to establish itself as a prestigious annual event to help and encourage young musicians from the area.

The Caerwys Young Musician Competition was successfully launched last year and now organisers hope, with the support of rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd through their Flintshire Cultural Celebrations Project, to put Caerwys firmly on the map for young musical hopefuls.

This year’s competition will be held at Caerwys Town Hall on October 30 and organisers, Caerwys Male Voice Choir, are hoping for even more than the 20 competitors who took part last year.

The competition is open to any singer or musician under 19 on the day of the event and who lives in the area of the former county of Clwyd.

Prelims will be in the morning with finalists going forward to a concert in front of an audience at Caerwys Town Hall in the evening.

It has been backed by Cadwyn Clwyd with £1,860 of funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) through the Welsh Assembly Government’s Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 and is part of a three-year plan to revitalise rural communities and their economies in the county.

Cadwyn Clwyd’s project officer Andrew Redfern said: “This proved a wonderful event last year and one which attracted a great deal of interest from young musicians.

“Fostering young talent is very much what we want to do and Caerwys has a rich musical and cultural tradition.

“We hope that with our help the Caerwys Young Musician Competition will be around for a long time to come and will encourage more young people to appreciate, enjoy and take part in music.”

Last year’s inaugural event was won by 15-year-old Tom Blomfield from Lloc, who was 14 at the time, playing the oboe. Tom, a pupil at Argoed High School has been studying the instrument for five years.

“It was a really enjoyable day and I beat my older brother Joe, who played the cello, and sister Holly, who played the flute, in the final. But I try not to mention that too much at home now!

“It was a great opportunity and to play in front of a live audience and gain experience. I’m planning on taking part again this year and who knows perhaps win again,” he said.

Tom, who wants to go on to music college after school, would encourage any young local musician to take part in the Caerwys competition.

“Don’t think of the negative things like nerves. Just go out there and enjoy yourself and get as much experience as possible which will benefit you in the future.”

Organiser Arthur Pierce from the Caerwys Male Voice Choir is hopeful with the backing of Cadwyn Clwyd the competition can become an annual event and an important stepping stone in a young musicians life.

“The quality last year was extremely high. The standard of the music and competition was exceptional those aren’t just my words but the words of the adjudicators as well.

“We are hoping for about 25 entrants this year and to establish the competition as an annual event. It will not only help young people from the area if they want to make music their career but also give them the confidence and experience to take forward in what ever they do,” he said.

Arthur believes that Caerwys can build on its musical traditions by hosting the competition each year. It is important for the town, the people and the young people.

“It is important that music competitions like this are available for young people from the area. It is an opportunity to compete against other musicians on stage in front of a live audience.

“It’s also a great event for Caerwys itself. We were very well supported last year and those local people who came to the finals concert in the evening said they were pleased and proud it was on in Caerwys. I think they were a little surprised at the high standard of the music and I’m sure it will be as good if not better this year,” added Arthur.

Closing date for entries into this year’s Caerwys Young Musician Competition is the first week in October with the event to be held on October 30. For an entry form contact Arthur Pierce at ap_jap@talktalk.net or via the Caerwys Male Voice Choir website www.corcaerwys.org.uk.

Anyone interested in signing up for Cadwyn Clwyd’s Flintshire Cultural Celebrations Project can contact Andrew Redfern on 01824 705802 or e-mail andrew.redfern@cadwynclwyd.co.uk.

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