Every year since 1993 the Rotary Club of Comber has organised the NI Young Musician of the Year event to encourage aspiring young musicians to improve their performance skills in public.
In the early years, the Club used the event to raise funds for local charities. Of the £85,000 total the main beneficiaries have been the NSPCC, the Cancer Fund for Children and the NI Music Therapy Trust.
Among our distinguished adjudicators have been John Anderson, Leonard Pugh, Philip Hammond, Stephanie Hughes, Gillian Morrow, Declan McGovern, Simon Taylor, Robin Hewitt, David Drinkell, Michael McCracken, Richard Yarr and Edwin Gray.
We have taken the finals of the contest to splendid venues such as Belfast Castle, Malone House and the Harty Room at Queen’s. Most recently, Strathearn School has hosted both heats and finals.
Well over 1000 young musicians have appeared from all over the province, singing or playing everything from a tin whistle to a tuba, impressing audiences and adjudicators alike. Many have gone on to successful musical careers, while those who have chosen alternative paths have a priceless gift to entertain others. Winners and runners-
Over the years, we have been fortunate to attract major sponsors such as the Post Office, Tesco, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Matchetts Music. Countless other smaller supporters, both businesses and private individuals, have also contributed generously.
|2012 Winner_Andrew Douglas|
|2016 Winners_Tom Myles & Grainne White|
|2009 Winner_Stephen Rankin|
|2008 Winner_Fionnula Ward|
|2007 Winner_Sean Morgan-Rooney|
|2010 Winner_Craig Lutton|
|2013 Winner_Eva Richards|
|2011 Winner_Bradley Parker|
|2006 Winner_Sam Law|
|2005 Winner_Stephen Heagney|
|2004 Winner_Ryan Gray|
|2003 Winner_Justin Livingstone|
|2002 Winner_Darren Scroggie|
|2001 Winner_Kim Vaughan|
|2000 Winner_Hyun Kyoung Koo|
|1999 Winner_Scott Foster|
|1998 Winner_John Wilson|
|1997 Winner_Jonathan Byers|
|1995 Winner_Jonathan Johnston|
|1996 Winner_Gillian McWilliams|
|1994 Winner_Jonathan Coffey|
|1993 Winner_Claire McKeown|
|2014 Winner_Angus McCall|
|2015 Winner_Cathryn Lynch|
|2017 Winner Samuel Kane|