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Violin player Danielle van Niekerk was named overall champion when young musicians from across the island wowed at the Western Isles Young Musician of the Year competition, held at Stornoway Primary on Saturday November 18.  

Playing to impress, competitors took part in individual heats for primary, junior and senior level singing, strings, piano, brass, woodwind and piping during the day. Winners of each heat progressed to play in that evening's finals, where one winner for each competition was chosen. Danielle was then selected as the ultimate champion, meaning she will represent the Western Isles at the national Scottish Young Musicians finals at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in May 2024.

The trophies were presented by Mr Calum Watt.

(l-r) Finlay Campbell, Danielle van Niekerk, Innes Begg, Zoe Leparoux, Darren Campbell, Lidia Morrison

After the event, judges Mae Murray, from The Music Education Partnership, and Phil MacGregor, Head of Instrumental Services in Dundee, both spoke enthusiastically of the high standard of musicianship reached by the musicians.

Meanwhile Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Music Education Partnership Group, and The Rotary Club of Stornoway were all thanked for supporting the competition. 


Young Singer of the Year Finalists (Senior)

Gabriella Mackay
Zoe Leparoux
Dylan Pryer

Winner: Zoe Leparoux

Young Singer of the Year Finalists (Primary)

Winner: Lydia Morrison

Young Musician of the Year (Senior)

Piano - Elizabeth Greenstock
Brass - Luc Smith
Strings - Danielle van Niekerk
Woodwind - Hannah MacLennan

Winner: Danielle van Niekerk

Young Musician of the Year Finalists (Junior)

Piano - Eva Nicole Morrison
Brass - Colin Clark
Strings - Alice Reid
Woodwind - Darren Campbell

Winner: Darren Campbell

Young Musician of the Year Finalists (Primary)

Piano - Jaya Yearley
Brass - Murray Ovenstone
Strings - Finlay Campbell
Woodwind - Anne Marie Macleod

Winner: Finlay Campbell

Western Isles Young Piper of the Year

Senior - Innes Begg
Junior - Katie MacRae

​Overall winner

Danielle van Niekerk