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South Ayrshire pupils wow at final of Scottish Young Musicians

Scottish Young Musicians

S6 Prestwick Academy pupil, Naomi Priestnall and Belmont Academy Brass Group represented South Ayrshire at the recent final of the Scottish Young Musicians.  

The event, which was held in Glasgow on Sunday 21 May, saw young people from across Scotland compete to be the Scottish Young Musician's Solo Performer of the Year 2023.  

Naomi reached the final after winning the South Ayrshire Young Musician 2023 at Ayr Town Hall, organised by the Instrumental Music Service. The local competition featured young musicians from every secondary school across the authority.  

Naomi is leader of Prestwick Academy String Orchestra and the South Ayrshire Schools' Sinfonia. She has been a member of the West of Scotland Schools' Orchestra and is currently a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. She recently won the recital class at the Ayrshire Music Festival and plans to continue studying traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.   

Prior to embarking on her studies, Naomi is set to tour the USA this summer with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra. 

Naomi said: "It was really exciting to be part of the national final and an honour to perform in front of such a respected adjudication panel. I have been so lucky to have had many opportunities to develop my skills during my time at school, particularly playing in all the authority groups and orchestras. My teachers, instructors and tutors have been so inspiring.'' 

The competition also saw the talented pupils of Belmont Academy Brass Group awarded runners up in the Brass Ensemble 2023. 

The pupils, led by Mr Simon Bird, music instructor, performed to a packed hall and accepted the award on behalf of South Ayrshire. This topped off a very successful year for the quartet, who recently won the Robert L Rowe Memorial Trophy at the Ayrshire Music Festival. 

South Ayrshire Provost, Iain Campbell, said: "The event was a fantastic showcase of what young musicians in Scotland have to offer. It was an absolute pleasure to meet these young people and hear about their musical accomplishments.  Both Naomi and all the pupils of the Belmont Academy Brass Group should be extremely proud to have reached the final of this prestigious competition and I'm sure their talents will take them far." 

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Education, Councillor Stephen Ferry, said: "I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the South Ayrshire Young Musicians final at Ayr Town Hall - the talent on the evening was outstanding.  It was great to be there to support some of our very own local young musicians, who all have a bright and successful future ahead of them." 

Information about Scottish Young Musicians is available at