Two Moors Festival
12th to 21st October 2018

Young Musicians Platform

Many Congratulations to previous winners and finalists!

Hannah McFarlane (winner 2016 cello) who went through to the Cataegory auditions of the BBC Young Musician of the year Competition.

Theo Bently-Curtin (finalist 2015 piano) is in the National Youth Orchestra this year playing cello.

Fergus Mcready (finalist 2017 oboe) is also in The National Youth Orchestra this year on Oboe

Oliver Kinsella (winner 2016) has achieved Distinction in his Grade 8 Classical guitar exam. He has since won a generous scholarship and is happily studying at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with its incredible new building . He is loving being immersed in music every day and has made a happy and determined decision to pursue a career in music.


Poppy Mcghee & Joel Munday


Poppy Mcghee (winner 2017 violin) 
Since performing in the Winners Concert at Dulverton in October. Poppy has been awarded The Robert Lewin Scholarship for Awards for Young Musicians at The Royal Northern College of Music. She was guest soloist for the Royal British Legion Remembrance Day Concert in Wells. In 2018 she will perform in a series of concerts with The Syrinx Ensemble headed by Martin Gatt and she will also be playing in the main orchestra for the NCO.

Joel Munday (winner 2016 Violin) has recently won the Peter Morrison Concerto Competition at RCM junior dept and will perform the Korngold Violin Concerto with RCMJD Symphony Orchestra in March. In September he will begin a degree course at RCM.

We love to hear news of our previous competitors so please keep us informed and we can add you to the website.

Young Musicians Platform Winners 2017

Matilda Wale, aged 16, Voice, from New College, Swindon
Ellen O'Brien, aged 17, French Horn, from The Castle School, Thornbury
Poppy Freya McGhee, aged 12, Violin, Hugh Sexey Middle School, Wedmore
Joseph Pritchard, aged 17, Cello, from Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey

These are some comments from the candidates following their auditions:

"I am thrilled to be one of the Young Musician Winners this year! Every year, Two Moors becomes warmer and warmer. The atmosphere is ambitious yet intimate, creating an incredible space for music-making. I have returned for five years now, as the panel have always been so encouraging and their critiques positive and constructive.”
Matilda Wale 

"I found the competition very friendly and an enjoyable experience. The feedback from the first round was very positive and useful and helped me prepare for the next round as well as other performances. It was the first time I had played with a different accompanist and I would not hesitate to do this again. Thank you very much."
Ellen O'Brien 

"The Two Moors Young Performers Platform, is everything that you could wish for in a competition for young people. The setting is almost magical, and the atmosphere has what I consider to be a 'family feel'. This was Poppy's third year with you, and she was so excited to be back again in Exmoor. For Poppy, It has never been about the winning, but about the experience, and the people that make it all happen. Poppy has always been made to feel really welcome and the performing has never felt scary because the environment is so nurturing. The sweets are a lovely touch too!"
Mother of Poppy McGhee

 “The Young Musicians Platform was so beneficial for me.  Many competitions for young musicians can now appear quite daunting and scary, but the Two Moors competition was totally the opposite.  The adjudicators were very friendly, helpful with their feedback and not intimidating in the slightest.  Above all, the performance oppurtunity was hugely appreciated and I can’t wait to perform in the festival later this year!”
Joseph Pritchard

About the Competition

The Two Moors Festival's Young Musicians Platform Competition began in 2002, when the Festival was still in its infancy, but in the 1200 square miles of Dartmoor and Exmoor it was realised that there were very few performance opportunities for enthusiastic young musicians living in the Southwest. From this came the idea to find four under-nineteen year olds who could share a concert in the main Festival, also receiving some prize money. 

The panel has always comprised three or four experienced professional musicians including Philip Fowke, Melanie Ragge, Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Robert St John Wright to name but few.

Over the years the standard prestige has risen enormously. Entries now come from as far afield as Gloucester, Bournemouth and Truro and usually total around fifty for the first round. Approximately half this number is taken through to the final round. Winners from previous years have gone on to further successes: violinist Anna Im, was a Category Finalist in 2012’s BBC Young Musician of the Year, as was clarinettist, Jordan Black in 2007. Some very young candidates have been "nurtured" and, though unsuccessful at first, have been encouraged to come back the next year. In one case, a ten year-old violinist came repeatedly until she was a winner in 2009.

The atmosphere has always been relaxed, with a number of "seasoned" competitors saying that these auditions offer an environment that is conducive to giving their best performance. The concert in October offers a chance for all four winners to give an individual fifteen minute performance.