Pitch perfect performances

This year's Young Musician of the Year winners: Layla Templeton and Shaun Cassidy.
This year's Young Musician of the Year winners: Layla Templeton and Shaun Cassidy.

Rothesay Joint Campus’ assembly hall was filled with the sound of music on Thursday evening at the annual Rotary Club of Rothesay Young Musician of the Year competition.

This year saw five vocalists and two musicians compete for the title, which will take them to the district finals in Glasgow.

Singing for the very first time - but for the experience only, not to compete - was Hayley McGuire. Hayley made a big impression on the audience with her renditions of ‘On my Own’ from Les Miserables, and ‘The Show’ by Lenka Kripac and Jason Reeves.

Hopefully we’ll see Hayley’s name among those competing next year!

Providing entertainment for the evening was Beth Swan whose stunning performance of Pie Jesu received a well-deserved round of raptuous applause.


Amber Williams - ‘Part of your World’ (lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken); ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ (Jamie Lawson)

Amy Simpson - ‘Ain’t Nobody’ (David Wolinski); Riptide (Vance Joy)

Weronika Kosmider - ‘A Team’ (Ed Sheeran); ‘Dancing on My Own’ (Robyn and Patrik Berger)

Cara Docherty - ‘Sun’ (Alexander Trimble); ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ (Robert Smith)

Layla Templeton - ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ (G. Puccini); The Girl from 14G (Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan)


Shaun Cassidy on Bass Guitar - ‘Sun’ (Alexander Trimble); ‘Moving to New York ‘ (Matthew Murphy)

John Murray on Guitar - ‘Hard to Explain’ (Julian Casablancas); ‘Taste It’ (Iain Archer and Jake Kennedy).

The standard was very high, with each of the entrants showcasing the results of their hard work leading up to competition night.

While singing or playing an instrument behind closed doors is one thing, it’s an entirely different experience performing in front of an audience, but each of the pupils displayed great confidence and can rightfully be proud of themselves.

Tasked with the difficult job of chosing a winner in each of the respective categories were Fr Michael Hutson, Rev Owain Jones, and Emma Alexander.

All three judges have their own extensive musical background, but that didn’t make the task of picking winners any easier.

While deliberations were made, the audience (and competitors) were able to enjoy home-baked treats courtesy of Malcolm Briggs and Rothesay Academy’s hospitality department.

Prior to announcing the winners, Fr Michael said: “Music-making teaches us to be better people too, it helps us to listen to others.

“When you’re playing in a band or accompanying someone else you’ve got to listen to them, and that’s a good exercise we should take on board in life.

“Thanks go to the Rotary for putting this on for us year after year, and thanks to the performers who have made us all better people tonight by providing us with all this beautiful music.

“Your music has touched us all, it has cheered us up maybe, and it certainly impressed us.

“The last thing I want to say is that everyone’s a winner.”

Winning the singing contest, by what Fr Michael said was “a millionth of a point” was Layla Templeton, and taking the instrumentalist title by “the size of the width of a guitar string” was Shaun Cassidy.

After all of the competitors were presented with certificates, president of the Rotary Club of Rothesay, Andy Kelly, gave his thanks once more to all the pupils for their hard work and excellent performances, and to all involved in making the competition such a success including Georgeann Martin and Rothesay Academy teacher, Katie Hamlet.