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Davison Young Musicians Award offers cash prizes to budding musicians in Cambridgeshire

The third series of the Davison Young Musician Awards are open, with budding musicians invited to send in a video audition for a chance to win a cash prize – and perform in a future classical concert.

Tom Davison, founder of the Davison Young Musicians Foundation (DYMF), urges music teachers and parents of their talented and aspiring young musicians to “audition and give it a go”.

Jordan Ashman, from Milton, a Hills Road Sixth Form College student, with his Davison Young Musician Award Picture: Keith Heppell
Jordan Ashman, from Milton, a Hills Road Sixth Form College student, with his Davison Young Musician Award Picture: Keith Heppell

He adds: “There is nothing to lose and lots to gain from the experience. This year we are focusing on the Cambridgeshire region again.”

Aspiring young musicians at secondary schools, in sixth forms and those with music bursaries – whether they are playing strings, woodwind, brass, keyboards, percussion or vocal – are encouraged to submit an audition piece. Those taking part need to be in one of two age groups: 16-17 or 18-21.

The patron, Duncan Lustig-Prean, said: “The awards are about supporting young musicians and particularly those less advantaged.

“We know with any university town or city, there are plenty of students who are doing OK, but there are many who are not and have less opportunity to develop their talent or afford extra lessons or a new instrument, due to financial constraints.

“All entries will be overseen by our esteemed adjudicating panel and guest expert judges, which include the trumpet maestro and professor of brass at the Liszt Conservatorium, Tamas Palfalvi, John Rutter CBE, composer and conductor, and other prolific musicians.

“All the judges and how to enter are on our website. Everything you need to know is there.”

Previous winner Jordan Ashman went on to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award in 2022. He performed Concerto for Marimba with the City of Cambridge Orchestra over the weekend.

A best performer award of £1,000, a patrons award of £500 and the Ian Williams music bursary/grant of £300 are available, while a scholarship of £2,000 may be awarded for excellence in performance.

The closure date is 1 March for Lent term auditions, with Michaelmas term auditions invited between 1 September and 1 November each year.

Tom and Duncan have also met with the leader of Cambridge Music Academy, Matthew Gunn, to discuss and agree on a combined project to support aspiring young musicians such as Jordan and to offer bursaries for the next year, along with the potential to issue a scholarship to the most promising musician.

They have also had meetings with New College Oxford to collaborate on a recital series for new musical talent, to be adjudicated and performed at their new recital hall facilities facility commencing in the spring.

Felix Kirkby, a previous DYMF winner, is is now a panel judge who currently conducts the Oxford Festival Orchestra.

He will be liaising with the university on the recital series and also putting together future award winners’ concerts for Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire.

For details. terms and to submit an audition, visit dymf.org.

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