Solo Performer of the Year

Solo Performer of the Year

Solo Performer of the Year is a nationwide competition to discover the brightest musical talent in Scotland. It is open to all young musicians who go to school in Scotland, and you can enter whatever your age or standard. If you're interested in taking part, speak to your music teacher or instructor to find out more.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to every school student in Scotland who sings or plays an instrument. There is no minimum age or standard.

How does it work?

Regional competitions

Each local authority selects a regional finalist. The process of selecting finalists will be slightly different in each local authority. For example, you might run local heats in each secondary school and then have a regional heat to decide who will represent the local authority at the National Final.

A finalist will also be selected from Scotland's independent schools following their own competition. 

National Final

The finalists from each local authority and the independent schools will compete at the National Final.

In the final, you will be invited to perform a programme of your choice, lasting no more than 7 minutes.

You can perform on your own or with an accompanist. You can choose to perform with the accompanist we provide, or you can bring your own. If you require a different kind of accompaniment (e.g. a backing track) please let us know in advance so that we can be prepared. 

A panel of judges will then decide who will be awarded the title of Solo Performer of the Year.

The finalists and their parent or carer will receive travel expenses and accommodation, arranged by SYM, if required. The final will be a national event so you will be filmed, recorded and photographed, and your image may be used in the press, on our website, social media and in other marketing materials

Why should I enter?

At Scottish Young Musicians, you will compete with some of the best young musicians in Scotland, for a panel of judges with an international reputation. It might push you outside your comfort zone, but don't let that put you off. 

These competitions are a chance to develop your skills, get performance experience, grow in confidence, and meet other young people who are passionate about music. And you can even win some amazing career-changing prizes

Still not sure? Read more about the 2023 final to get a taste of what to expect.

How do I enter?

If you are a young musician, speak to your music teacher or instructor to let them know you're interested in entering the Solo Performer of the Year competition. Your teacher can then contact the local authority Music Service Manager to get the details of how to enter.

Attend an independent school? Your teacher can email us at

Information for schools

We are offering schools the opportunity to host their own #SYM competition! 

If you're a music teacher please email for more information, or complete this form to receive a trophy and certificates:

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

I am excited to see the growing appeal and success of these competitions in schools across the country. They will be of immense help and encouragement for the aspirations of thousands of young Scottish musicians. As they say, it’s not the winning that counts - it’s the taking part and learning a lot about oneself as a developing musician, being able to contrast and compare one’s progress with one’s young colleagues.

Sir James MacMillan
Conductor, Composer & Artistic Director,
The Cumnock Tryst

James McMillan