Arun Young Musician of the Year 2013 is crowned

Hannah Labus, the 2013 Arun Young Musician of the Year
Hannah Labus, the 2013 Arun Young Musician of the Year

WELL-TRAVELLED euphonium player Hannah Labus must have felt the journey to the Arun Young Musician of the Year gala concert was well worth making on Saturday (March 23).

Hannah, 17, was the overall winner of the 2013 competition, joining a long list of youthful musical talent stretching back to 1981.

She drives to Birmingham once a month to play with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, so the trip from her home at Burgess Hill to the competition finale at Windlesham House School, Washington, was comparatively local.

Hannah’s performance of John Hartmann’s Facilita (air with variations) was a delightful showcase of the euphonium’s character and range of expression in accomplished hands.

More than a dozen singers, instrumentalists, choirs and an ensemble, ranging in age from five to their late teens, qualified for the concert, and were assessed by adjudicators Lisa Smith and Ben Hall.

But, just as importantly, their fine playing and singing were enjoyed by a good-sized audience.

Ashtyn Roworth, aged just five, gave a remarkable rendition of The Beatles’ Let It Be, to win the Angmering Chorale Bursary for a promising vocalist.

The Paul Backwell Trophy for best young vocalist aged 12 and under went to Laila Needham and, in the same age group, James Dew (cello) won the Rustington Music Group Trophy for best instrumentalist.

Eleanor Finn received the Susannah Flegg Trophy as best vocalist, and Alex Karman (treble recorder) was awarded the Raven Cup for best instrumentalist.

Tim Rumsey enjoyed triple success, with the Dennis Cup for composition (piano), the Vi Casey Trophy as overall runner-up (playing the clarinet), and as a member of Chichester Youth Recorder Ensemble, the Ruth Dyson Trophy for best ensemble.

Dorset House School, Bury, won the Arun Choral Society Shield for best Junior Choir and violinist Kate Simpson received the Sinfonia of Arun Bursary for a promising instrumentalist. Poppy McGhee, eight (violin), took the Rotary Club of Littlehampton Award for most promising musician.

The club again ran the competition, with Jane Seamer as acting committee chairman and George Jones as compere on the day.