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Young talent tunes in to success

The talents of young musicians were recognised at an annual competition dominated by students from a school in Bury St Edmunds.

Jonathan Soman, who plays piano and clarinet, was named West Suffolk's Young Musician of the Year at the awards ceremony at the Athenaeum, in Bury.

The 16-year-old, who played alongside two other finalists from County Upper School and the previous winner Diane Hammond, said: "I didn't think I was going to win so it was quite a nice surprise. It's nice to be formally recognised for something I like to do."

Level three finalists were French horn player Daniel Fletcher, from County Upper School, singer Catherine Harrison, from County Upper School, and violinist Matthew Stephenson, from Perse School, in Cambridge.

Vicky Neale, headteacher, said: "Young people get such a bad press these days, it's nice for them to get some recognition. This competition proved the majority of young people are talented. It was a proud night to be from County Upper."

Violinist Eleanor White, 13, from Horringer Court Middle School, was awarded the top prize for her performance at level two in the competition and she is set to study at County Upper School in September.

Other finalists for level two were pianist Will Blackaby, from Stowmarket High School, singer Amy Milner, from Culford School, cornet player Tomos Morgan, from Parkway Middle School, in Haverhill, and alto saxophonist George Waine, from Stowmarket High School.

Level one performers were bassoon player Nicholas Barton, from King Edward VI School, Bury, singer Jessica Cowper, from County Upper School, cornet player Ryan Morley, from Chalkstone Middle School, in Haverhill, and violinist Lewis Tingey, from Samuel Ward Upper School, Haverhill.

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