UK Conservatoires Finest Prepare for YMFE Finals 2009


On the Thursday 5th February 2009, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe will be holding their annual scholarship finals at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire. Entry to this exciting event is free to everyone so make sure you come along and enjoy a day of exciting music from some UK conservatoires brightest musical talents.

Following a record number of entries, nine students representing some of the UK’s leading conservatoires have been chosen to perform at the finals and will have their performances judged by a panel of world-class artists and tutors with the three winning finalists each receiving £2000 to assist the furthering of their studies and classical music careers- the awards also offer a high-profile opportunity to get noticed.

This year the selected discipline is Brass and Woodwind and with the awards scheme now in its twentieth year, they are now highly prized by students and respected by the music establishment and conservatoires in particular. This year’s awards are no exception attracting a record number of entries from students in full time music education from all over the UK and as always, the free entry to the final round will provide audiences with a great opportunity to hear some of the UK’s most talented young musicians.

Preliminary judges John Reynolds – Clarinetist and Head of Woodwind at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Chris Mowat – Former trombonist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Former Head of Brass at the RWCMD, now a lecturer at the RWCMD and Bill Martin – Yamaha Education Liaison Manager reported an exceptionally high standard and predicted the best ever YMFE Brass and Woodwind final. The preliminary judges unanimously agreed upon the ten 2009 finalists who had submitted unedited recordings of two contrasting works. At the final, the ten finalists will each perform a programme of 30 minutes duration where the final judging panel will include:

David Purser – Head of Brass at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Bryan Allen – Head of Brass at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Janet Hilton – Head of Woodwind at the Royal College of Music.

The Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe is a charitable trust founded in 1990 with a remit to assist talented young musicians. It currently operates in 31 countries. Each year the instrument emphasis rotates between Piano, Brass & Woodwind, Strings, Percussion and Voice.

Last year was dedicated to Piano and the standard of winners so exceptionally high that Yamaha Senior Director Mike Ketley announced a surprise bonus for winners Sasha Grynyuk (GSMAD), Alexander Romanovsky (RCM) and Vyacheslav Sidorenko (RNCM) of a debut showcase concert in the Wigmore Hall in London in 2009.

Mike Ketley, Senior Director at Yamaha Music UK Limited stated, “We are looking forward to some outstanding performances in the finals. Each year the standards seem to get higher and we are delighted to be able to offer these scholarships in order that these immensely talented musicians can further their studies.”

The 2009 finalists are:

  • Miss Hannah Morgan, Clarinet, RCM
  • Mr Paul Alexander Vowles, Clarinet, RNCM
  • Mr Gavin Zev, Flute, RCM
  • Mr Tom Poulson, Trumpet, RSAMD
  • Mr Dominic Childs, Saxophone, RCM
  • Miss Laura Lucas, Flute, RCM
  • Mr William Duncombe, Clarinet, RCM
  • Mr Joseph Arnold, Bass Trombone, RAM
  • Mr Paul McEachran, Saxophone, RCM


The YMFE finals will begin at 10.30am in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham on Thursday 5th February 2009, entry is free.

Yamaha Musical Instrument are available from;

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About pollardtrumpets

With 46 years working in the music industry worldwide, his knowledge and experience stocks a comprehensive music store, the one stop shop for instrument advice, repairs, new and second-hand sales. Peter's apprenticeships with some of the world's leading craftsmen in Britain, the United States and Canada, have given him a thorough working knowledge of acoustical engineering and instrumental design creating a unique understanding of the instrumental needs of wind musicians. No longer will instrumental connoisseurs have to go to London when choosing and maintaining an instrument, when all their needs can be met in Manchester. A true Artisan, Peter has been fine tuning brass and woodwind instruments for musicians of the leading ensembles and institutions for many years, the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Northern College of Music and Leeds College of Music and passing on his expertise in instrumental academy seminars in Scandinavia and Europe. A UK Brass specialist, Peter's skills have led to a growing demand for his custom range of brass design and parts, trumpets, flugels, cornets, bespoke lead pipes, bells, cork parts and mouthpieces. An exponent of 5 Star spa treatments for trumpets, a Pollard MOT involves deep freeze Cryogenic resonance restoration, ultrasonic cleaning, valve alignment and the application of his own patented valve oil 'Superfly' with a unique cleaning agent to ensure agile acrobatics when playing. 'Superfly' has now been licensed for distribution in the United States and Europe. Peter is the figure driving the sponsorship masterclasses and live music at Band on the Wall attracting stars such as Bobby Shew, Snake Davis, Ian Bousfield, Jigs Wigwam and Peter King, the Comedy Store, Liverpool's the Cavern Club and the Hallé, breath of fresh air for the region's live-music industry
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