Ensemble of the Year

Ensemble of the Year

This year we are delighted to introduce two separate ensemble competitions. The Ensemble of the Year competition which is open to instruments of all disciplines and the Brass Ensemble of the Year competition.  These online competitions will see school and local ensembles compete to win a chance to perform in a prime slot at our National Final.

Who can enter?

Ensemble of the Year is open to ensembles of 3 to 16 players of any genre or grouping of instruments. Your ensemble must play together regularly in a formal group from a school or recognised music organisation (not an informal group of friends).

Brass Ensemble of the Year is open to ensembles of 3 to 12 players. Your ensemble must play together regularly in a formal group from a school or recognised music organisation (not an informal group of friends.

Your members must be school students in Scotland. There is no minimum age or standard.

How does it work? 

Ensemble of the Year is an online competition. You will record a video of your ensemble playing. The video must:

  • include a programme of two contrasting pieces
  • be no longer than 10 minutes in total
  • have no more than 3 players per part for the Ensemble of the Year and 2 per part for the Brass Ensemble of the Year
  • be unedited, with all participants playing in one venue at the same time

One ensemble in each category (Ensemble of the Year and Brass Ensemble of the Year)  should be selected to represent each local authority, recognised music organisation, and Scotland's independent schools. We encourage each local authority and group to have their own competitions to select their final entry.

The chosen entries will then be submitted for judging by our panel of esteemed adjudicators. The winning ensembles will be awarded the title of Ensemble of the Year and Brass Ensemble of the Year and receive a cash prize to further their musical experiences, the Maid of Morven Trophy and an all-expenses paid trip to play a prime slot at the Solo Performer of the Year National Final at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Thanks to a generous donation from our sponsor Dr Ursula Jones OBE for the Brass Ensemble prize. This prize is donated in honour of her late husband Philip Jones CBE, who founded one of the world’s most celebrated brass ensembles.

Why should we enter?

Ensemble of the Year is a chance for your ensemble to get experience playing together and push your performance skills to the next level. You’ll be in with a chance of being recognised as some of the brightest young musical talent in Scotland and being awarded a cash prize, trophy and a performance slot at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

How do we enter?

If you are a young musician, speak to your music teacher or band conductor to let them know you're interested in entering the competition. 

They should contact the following person to get details about entering the competition:

Once you've recorded your video (see How does it work?), the above contact will send you a link to upload your videos and music scores. Only one entry is permitted for each local authority, band and Scotland's independent schools, so there may be local and regional competitions to decide a final entry.

Follow us on social media to get the latest announcements about the Scottish Young Musicians competitions.

Winning the North Ayrshire Young Musician of the Year was a hugely important steppingstone in my musical development. It provided me with an invaluable opportunity to perform, compete, make lasting relationships with like-minded young musicians, and ultimately propel me forward to playing on the world’s greatest stages with musicians of the highest calibre. I may not have had the many incredible opportunities that I’ve gone onto experience, were it not for the encouragement and friendly competitive spirit brought about by being involved in this and other competitions.  They provide an invaluable source of motivation and progression in a young musician’s life.

Scott Lygate
Solo clarinet performer and guest musician with many of the world’s leading orchestras

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