Woking Young Musician of the Year 2020

Woking Young Musician of the Year, 2020: Annie McChrystal

The Woking Music Festival season came to a resounding conclusion on 1st February with performances by seven outstanding musicians competing for the Young Musician of the Year Award at Christ Church in the town centre. This prestigious showcase was attended by the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks who presented the awards.

The winner was Annie McChrystal a 17 year old pianist; second was a 15 year old trumpeter, Will Everitt, and 14 year old Nona Lawrence was third. Annie studies at St Catherine’s School, Bramley. Will holds a music scholarship at Reed’s School and Nona is a pupil at Woking High School.

Annie said “This is a lovely event to be part of. The other contestants are all good musicians and I have got to know a number of them by competing with them at other events. I started playing the piano when I was four – I’ve always loved music. I’d love to be a concert pianist or to work in chamber music but I also enjoy physics so I might work in that area.”

The adjudicator was Nicholas Wilks, Second Master at Winchester College and Musical Director of the Winchester Symphony Orchestra since 2006. He said afterwards, “I really enjoyed this evening: music was the thing, it wasn’t all about winning in the end. I think the competitors showed that they were all prepared to take one or two risks and there were some who went the extra mile to really bring the music alive.”

Additional awards given for performances at the Woking Music festival in November were presented by the Mayor to:
Hanna Wood – Most Promising Young Actor
Imaan and Jamaal Kashim – Chamber Music Award
Jamaal Kashim (harp) and Artas Stankevicius (piano) – Junior Musicians of the Year
Vox Celestes (a choir from Nonsuch High school) – Grace Wright Memorial Award for best choir
Tobi Adepoju – Dame Ethel Smyth Award for best performance in any piano class of a work by a female composer.

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, the Mayor of Woking said, “it was a wonderful evening. All I heard and saw was inspiring; the young people were excellent in every category.” This sentiment was also echoed by many members of the audience.

As always, the Festival oganisers were very grateful to Handel Pianos Ltd from Sunningdale for the loan of a superb Blüthner piano for the evening.

Will Everitt (second place)
Nona Lawrence (third place)
All the performers with the Mayor of Woking and the adjudicator

The official photographs taken during the evening can be viewed and purchased from Woking News and Mail site.