Supporting Young Musicians
2017 Coro Nuovo Young Musician of the Year – Gideon Brooks
Gideon Brooks, a 22-year-old trumpeter from Bognor Regis, took home the music bursary at Coro Nuovo’s fifth annual summer concert on Sunday 16th July 2017
26 entrants had competed for the prize before judges selected just four young musicians from Sussex to compete at the choir’s ‘Music & Monarchy’ performance. They were Gideon; Claire Ward, a 24-year-old soprano, from Crawley; Ayla Sahin, 18, from Brighton and 24-year-old soprano, Rebekah Smith from Hove.
Gideon and Rebekah were both finalists in the inaugural Young Musicians’ Bursary last year, when they were pipped to the post by saxophonist Hannah Corcoran.
The bursary competition is open to singers and instrumentalists aged between 18 and 25 and is designed to support their studies at one of the UK’s leading conservatoires.
Judges were David Angus, music director of Boston Lyric Opera and honorary conductor of the Symphony Orchestra; Mark Stone, a professional baritone who has performed at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and La Scala; and the choir’s founder, Catherine Kent. Coro Nuovo’s music director, international tenor Andrew Rees, conducted and compèred the evening.
David said: “All the finalists performed to an extremely high standard which made our decision very difficult. They will all clearly have remarkable careers in the music industry but we have chosen Gideon Brooks for his outstanding professionalism”. David went on to pay tribute to Phillip Sear, who accompanied all the soloists.
On receiving his £1,000 bursary prize, Gideon said: “Thank you very much for having me back for a second time. It is such an honour to win. I congratulate Andrew Rees, the superb conductor of the Coro Nuovo choir who always sing so brilliantly and energetically.”
The Coro Nuovo Young Musicians’ Bursary will return again next year.
Ayla is 18 years old and lives in Brighton. She has just completed her A levels at Hurstpierpoint College and later this year goes on to start her studies at the Royal Academy.
Claire is 24 years old and was born and brought up in Crawley. She is a graduate from Durham University but is now in her first year studying for her Masters in Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy.
Gideon is 22 and from Bognor Regis. He was an undergraduate at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama but is now in his first year of postgraduate studies at Guildhall.
Rebekah is 24 and from Hove. Previously an undergraduate at Trinity Laban she is now in her first year of a two-year Masters course at the Royal Academy.
Speaking about the Bursary
What’s your inspiration?
I have one message for young musicians around the world. Stay true to your heart, believe in yourself and work hard.