Runner-up in musical showcase

A tuba-playing teenager from Underwood wowed a packed audience in the Djanogly Recital Hall at the Lakeside Arts Centre in the grand finals of the 7th Biennial Nottingham Young Musician of the Year competition.

Despite his best efforts however Harry Smith, 15, of Old Chapel Lane, a scholar at Nottingham High School, was one of four runners-up, 11-year-old pianist Jeneba Kanneh Mason giving a masterly show of her talents to win the prestigious contest.

djudicator Peter Hewitt who made his mark as a Director of the Royal College of Music flew over specially from his home in Switzerland to assess the performances of Harry, Jeneba, and the other finalists who were Cantamus soprano Emma Rae Ward, clarinet player Matt Glendening and violinist Sophie Hinson.

Seventy five young musicmakers, including the finalists, pursued their drweam of winning the coveted Windblower Trophy and a £500 first prize, but 70 were eliminated in preliminary rounds.

Peter Hewitt gave positive assessments of the five finalists describing Harry Smith’s performance as “highly commendable”.

“The tuba is a very difficult instrument to play and Harry who was accompanied by Stefan Reid made a big impression”. he said.

Harry, along with the three other runners-up, was presented with a cheque for £200 and a trophy.

A keen sportsman, Harry is captain of his school’s age group cricket first eleven, plays rugby and is a cadet in the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force .

“ To make the finals of the Young Musician of the year competition is a great achievement and I am now planning to audition for the National Youth Orchestra as well as completing my diploma” said Harry.