A 22-YEAR-OLD soprano won the hearts of adjudicators and audience alike with her winning performance in the final of the 38th Keldwyth Cumbrian Young Musicians Award held in the Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands on August 27.

Jessica Harper who was recently awarded a first-class honours degree in music by King’s College London, will take up her place on the post-graduate course at the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland later this month.

Ms Harper, , from High Heskett, performed works by Mozart, Handel, Wolf, Debussy, Gurney and Grieg and her winning performance earned her a first prize of £1,000 and the Reg Griffiths trophy.

Four talented musicians, all between the ages of 16 and 22, had won their way to the finals through a preliminary round of twelve held in Ings Church in July. Runner-up Bertrand Nicholson, 17, the youngest contestant and a pupil at Chetham’s School of Music, gave a virtuoso performance on his viola, accompanied by his sister Leah, a previous Keldwyth winner.

He received £500 and the Geoffrey Blake trophy. Mezzo-soprano Susie Duxbury, 21, from Arkholme, a former pupil at Kirkby Lonsdale and baritone Sam Weakley,19, from High Brigham finished in joint third position. Each received a cheque for £250.

The panel of judges was made up of Keldwyth president and international concert pianist Anthony Hewitt, classical soprano soloist Emily Robinson and conductor, cellist and artistic director at Lake District Summer Music Stephen Threlfall.

The preliminary round for the 2022 Keldwyth Cumbrian Young Musicians Award will take place in July 2022. Applicants must be aged between 16 and 22, be born and/or educated in Cumbria and to have reached Grade 8 standard.