2017 Winner - Samuel Kane

The 2017 Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year is Samuel Kane from Portadown College

Adjudicator Richard Yarr thanked Comber Rotary for the invitation, adding that it was a pleasure, a privilege and an honour, and he congratulated the club for continuing to put on the competition which is going from strength to strength, and is extremely valuable. He also thanked the organiser Edwin Gray, social media, the schools and colleges, accompanist Michael Harrison, and Gillian McCutcheon who adjudicated the heats.

Before calling the outcome, Richard gave some pointers to what he had been looking for; players absorbed in their music, clear introductions to the audience, and remembering that they were part of a double act with the accompanist; a good facial expression entering the piece, and sustaining the mood and atmosphere of the music. Acknowledge the accompanist and audience; is the piece doing you justice? Do you understand its architecture? Is your own personality in the music? 
Richard thanked parents and teachers before providing individual feedback to the contestants. He concluded by adding that he was also checking on the complexity of the pieces, technique, musicianship and engagement with the audience.

Samuel played the second movement from Violin Concerto in D minor by Sibelius. The runner up was Gary Hunt from Campbell College, and he played Fauré’s Elégie on cello. Rebecca Doherty from Lumen Christi College was awarded third place for her performance on three recorders of pieces by Sammartini, Rose and Jacob. The prize for the best under-16 performance went to12-year old pianist Christopher McDonald from St. Colman’s College - he played a Beethoven sonata and a Chopin nocturne.
Certificates were awarded to Bethany McClenaghan (home educated), Lucia Corrigan (Methodist College), Daniel Sharpe (Carrickfergus Grammar School), Erin Whitley (Loreto Grammar School), Megan Barnes (Carrickfergus Grammar School), Louis Bell (Hunterhouse College), Lucian McCauley (St. Columb’s College), Georgia Begley (Methodist College) and Conall McHugh (Aquinas Grammar School).

Samuel is currently leader of the South Ulster Youth Orchestra, also Senior mentor for SELB Music Makers and has recently achieved distinction in Grade 8 Violin. He enjoys playing at local church services including wedding ceremonies both solo and as part of a string quartet, and he also plays piano accompaniment for a local singing and drama group.He is pictured here with President Evelyn Dermott of the Rotary Club of Comber.