Two exciting young musicians, both aged 15, came top of the class in the latest round of the Rotary Young Musician competition held at Gwernyfed High School.

In front of a packed hall, Gabriel Kennedy came first in the instrumental section of the area final and Nia Roles won the vocal section. They will now go through to the district final covering the whole of south Wales.

Gabriel Kennedy is a pupil at Crickhowell High School and was sponsored by Crickhowell Rotary. In a commanding performance on the piano, he played the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata in F Minor followed by Paderewski’s Nocturne. He played both pieces without the music in front of him.

Nia Roles, a pupil at Newbridge Comprehensive, was sponsored by Abertillery Rotary. A soprano, she sang Oh my beloved father by Puccini and Defying Gravity by Stephen Schwarz. The contrast between operatic song and musical theatre was striking and drew loud applause.

The event was organised by Brecon Rotary and the president, Hayley Ridge Evans, said: “It is great to give young musicians the chance of performing on a public stage and receive feedback from experienced judges.” The adjudicators at this event were Jayne Obradovic, a lecturer at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; Lynne Griffin who is a well-known local singer and conductor of the Brecknock YFC Choir, and Geraint Davies, a composer and conductor.

Mike Evans, assistant district governor of Rotary, said: “We are proud to be involved in promoting events which help to nurture the talent of our young people”.