MANY of you will have been to the Andover Young Musician of the Year on Thursday and probably until now had not realised the vast amount of talent in our Secondary Schools in and around Andover.

I for one was staggered at the quality of all the acts and if you had asked me if a cornet-playing lad could win I would be doubtful, but what a fantastic performance he did and even had time to throw off his jacket halfway through.

The singers, people playing flutes, clarinets, xylophones, violins and the groups, made it difficult, no impossible, for the audience to choose a winner and runner-up in the classical and popular sections. But they did very well.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stannah for supplying the prizes once again, David Mellor Jewellers for sponsoring the event and Test Valley Arts Foundation for their support and donation to the Hubert Dawkes prize, and Phil Evans for his brilliant photography.

Our judges Julian Dawes, a professional international composer with Joe Scicluna and Andrew Pomphrey did a very difficult job really well and thanks to them.

Finally I would like to thank all who came and helped us raise in excess of £1,000 for the St Mary’s Church Appeal. Thank you.

Chris Lynn, Andover Competition’s standards were of highest level IT was an absolute delight to be invited to the Andover Young Musician competition held in St Mary’s Church last Thursday evening.

A capacity audience was treated to some wonderful performances by Andover’s young and talented musicians.

The recitals comprised solo singers, individuals accompanied by an instrument as well as three separate bands.

I was particularly pleased to see that Test Valley Mayor, Cllr Janet Whiteley, had invited civic leaders from Hart, Rushmore and Gosport to enjoy the event and to experience for themselves the talent we have here in Andover.

And just like last year the standards were very high.

I suspect that it was no surprise to anyone there that the winner was a student who played the cornet to an almost professional standard.

Congratulations must of course go to the organisers and I do hope that the event will be staged again next year.

David Drew, Andover