Winners announced of local heat of Rotary competition for young musicians

J-Force - Jonty and Jeremy Ledbetter.

Wensleydale Rotary Club joined with BlueBoxt Creative and Performing Arts in Leyburn to hold the Wensleydale Area heat of the Rotary National Young Musician of Year competition.

The competition on December 2 was open to young people aged seven to 18 years who live or attend school in North Yorkshire, or close to the county boundary.

There were three classes split into two age groups, under 12 years and 12 to 18 years.

The event was organised by BlueBoxt Creative and Performing Arts working with Wensleydale Rotary Club and was held at St Mathews Church in Leyburn.

The adjudicator was Diana Hartley.

She said: “It was great to see so many young musicians taking part in this new competition, and I was very honoured to be asked to adjudicate.”

The first class was for an instrumentalist or vocalist playing acoustically, either accompanied by a pianist or unaccompanied.

The second class was for an instrumentalist or vocalist playing with amplification accompanied by a backing track or unaccompanied.

The third class was for an ensemble or group with two or more performers playing acoustically or amplified.

The winner of Class one under 12 years was Volodymyr Kryzhanovskyi.

Volodymyr played the Spanish Waltz by Paganini on his guitar.

The winner of the older age group in class one was Jonty Ledbetter. Jonty played Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Andy Hampton on his saxophone.

The winner of class two under 12 years was Farah Dinsdale playing the drum part of the Maroon 5 song Beautiful Mistakes.

The winner of the older age group in class two was Lili Bako singing Dolly Parton’s ballad I Will Always Love You.

The winner of Class three was Jonty and Jeremy Ledbetter playing as J-Force with electric guitars singing their own song Medicine for Revenge.

The overall winner of the Wensleydale Young Musician Award was Jonty Ledbetter.

Presentations of the winners’ certificates and medals was made by Wensleydale Rotary Club president Mr David Spashett.

He said: “I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and skill of the entrants.

“The Rotary club is keen to see this become an annual event as part of the National Rotary Young Musician competition.”

The best instrumentalist and the best vocalist from class one, Jody Ledbetter and Lili Bako respectively, will go on to the Rotary District Final, which is to be held at St Johns Church, Sharrow on Sunday 18th February 2024.

The winner from the district final will go on to the Rotary National final which will be held at Chatham’s School of Music, Manchester.

Judith Clark, chair of BlueBoxt, said: “We are excited to be able to work with Wensleydale Rotary club to provide opportunities for aspiring young musicians to perform in front of an audience which is essential for their development.

“We are already receiving enquiries for next year’s competition.”