Finalists announced for Sussex Young Musician 2020 competition

The finalists have been confirmed in the Sussex Young Musician 2020 competition.
Jamie AndrewsJamie Andrews
Jamie Andrews

The event is being run by Mid Sussex-based choir Coro Nuovo and will boast Katie Derham, the face of the BBC Proms, as one of its judges this year.

Catherine Kent, chairman of Coro Nuovo, said: “We had 41 applicants and it was really difficult to choose four and the marking was so close that we decided to offer five places in the final.

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“Broadcaster Katie Derham, conductor Mark Wigglesworth and composer Jonathan Dove will meet virtually on October 9 to decide on the winner and runner-up. That will then be made into an hour concert programme where we will play all the individual performances plus critique and presentation.”

The finalists are:

Jamie Andrews (organ/piano). Jamie is 18 and grew up in Brighton. He sings, plays the organ and piano and at 12 years old was the youngest organist in the diocese when he played for services at Holy Trinity Church, Poynings. Since then, he has had the opportunity to study and perform with many renowned orchestras and soloists and is now just starting his music studies at New College, Oxford where he is organ scholar. Jamie hopes to use the bursary money to attend an organ festival in France next year.

Toril Azzalini-Machecler (percussion). Toril is 18 and from Horsham. He has just begun his studies at the Royal College of Music. Toril reached the percussion finals of the BBC Young Musician both in 2018 and 2020 and he has had the opportunity of being involved in a variety of projects such as playing at the Glyndebourne Opera House, the BBC Proms and touring the UK with Chineke! Orchestra. Toril was also the youngest member of the LSO Percussion Academy and has played alongside Dame Evelyn Glennie. Toril has won prizes for his compositions, writing for a wide variety of styles.

Eliette Harris (violin). Eliette is 23 from Brighton. She is about to begin the artist masters course at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Eliette started her musical career as leader of Brighton Youth Orchestra before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. She enjoys a busy career as a soloist, chamber musician with the Larisa Trio and orchestral player.

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Georgia Mae Ellis (mezzo soprano). Georgia Mae is 24 years old and a mezzo soprano. She is studying for a master’s in music at the Royal Northern College of Music. As a youngster she grew up in Laughton and had exposure to events at Glyndebourne and was then part of the youth opera company from the age of 13. She is this year’s recipient of the Frederic Cox Award; she is pleased to say she will be taking up a position in The Glyndebourne Festival Chorus in the summer of 2021. Winning the bursary would enable her to become a professional opera singer by facilitating things such as language coaching, high audition fees and additional vocal coaching.

Helen Lacey (soprano). Helen is 26 and from Wadhurst. She is currently studying for an MA at the Royal Academy of Music. Helen began her early training through Glyndebourne Youth Opera and East Sussex Music Service.

The finalists will be judged by an expert panel in October to decide who gets which prize – £1,000 for the winner, £500 for the runner-up.

The winners will be announced in a live virtual award ceremony.

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The competition is open to musicians aged between 18 and 26 years old, who have a connection to Sussex (residential and/or educational) and are embarking or intending to embark on a professional career in music.

For more information on the competition visit the website

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