music changes young people’s lives


Staffordshire Young Musician competitions for Instrumentalists, Singers and Composers, organised by Entrust Music Service Staffordshire, are supported by FOSYM both financially and with volunteer help.

FOSYM’s support over the years has been vital in providing an opportunity to encourage and celebrate the hard work and achievement of young people in their music-making.

Those that win the coveted title of ‘Staffordshire Young Musician’ report how being part of the events has inspired them and given them confidence at a vital stage in their musical journey. It has also opened up opportunities. FOSYM keeps in touch with many past winners and follows their careers with great interest.

FOSYM looks forward to supporting Staffordshire Young Musician Competition 2024 for Instrumentalists, Vocalists and Composers.

For more details of how to apply and enter any of these competitions contact the Music Service on



Report on the 2023 event

The first round of the competition was held in early Spring 2023 and over 160 entries were received. Performances for the first round were recorded at home by the young people and submitted electronically. Several specialist Music Service adjudicators provided helpful and positive feedback for all performers and chose the 2023 finalists.

The Final was held in July 2023 at Riverway, Stafford, where Singers performed on Saturday and Instrumentalists on Sunday The opportunity for the young performers to perform to a supportive and excited audience was brilliant. All categories of the Competition saw a wide range of instruments and voice types represented. 

The performances were excellent, with well-chosen and interesting programmes which resulted in a most enjoyable event. The adjudicators gave very well-deserved praise and supportive comments to each performer, before the results were announced.

Each 2023 winner received a cash prize and a lovely trophy from FOSYM. and every finalist received a gift token.

The Staffordshire Competition for Young Composers was hugely successful and entries were received across all age groups. There was a variety of creative styles, notations, instrumentations, works for voice and lengths of piece.  This strand of the competition is growing as we work closely with staff in schools to improve skills and knowledge

Congratulations to all that took part in both the first round and the Final, the teachers, accompanists and all the families for their support. 


Junior Instrumentalist

Joshua Sims

Junior Instrumentalist – Winner 2023


My name is Joshua. I am 11 years old and I play 2 instruments, violin and the flute. I love to play my violin and explore different pieces especially when it is very dramatic! I really enjoy playing in the string orchestra at Birmingham Junior Conservatoire with my friends who are fun but also dedicated in playing well together. Music is fun and exciting and I would like to one day play like Maxim Vengerov who is my idol.

Intermediate Instrumentalist

Lisakee Hikkaduwage

Intermediate Instrumentalist – Winner 2023


My name is Lisakee Hikkaduwag and I am 13 years old. I go to Newport Girls’ High School.

I’ve been playing piano for about 6 years and performed in various different music festivals like Newcastle-under-Lyme music, speech and drama, Birmingham Festival, and Alderley Edge. I also enjoy performing in lots of musical events at school.

A few months back I completed my grade 6 ABRSM music exam and received a distinction and I have almost completed the grade 7 ABRSM course. I enjoy music because it can change someone’s mood depending on different genres but it also helps me focus.

Senior Instrumentalist

Ellie Rogers

Senior Instrumentalist – Winner 2023


My name is Ellie Rogers and I have been playing the violin for 11 years. I am currently leading three local string orchestras including Newcastle Music Centre String Orchestra, Moorlands Music Centre String Orchestra and my school orchestra at Blythe Bridge High School where I study Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry as a year 13 student. Next year, I aim to study mathematics at the University of Durham where I can pursue my enjoyment in music by joining the symphony orchestra. I started playing the violin to follow in my mum’s footsteps and now we share time learning duets and playing together. Playing the violin and being a part of orchestras has enabled me to form friendships and develop skills that have made me who I am today.

Junior Vocal

Maria Kelly

Junior Young Singer – Winner 2023


My name is Maria Kelly. I’m 10 years old and I attend Christchurch Academy in Stone, where I have singing, violin and guitar lessons.

I am currently part of the school choir, Stone Stringsters and the Ukulele club. Outside of school I attend dancing and acting lessons which I love.

Music has always been a big part of my life. I love that you can put songs to memories and it’s a brilliant way to express yourself and your emotions. My aspirations for the future are to be on stage performing and to teach people to perform and play music.

Intermediate VOCAL

Ruby Holland

Intermediate Young Singer – Winner 2023


My name is Ruby Holland and I go to Madeley High School, Newcastle. I have been singing since I can remember and currently have lessons at CCVOX Tuition. I am so grateful to be able to sing in the finals.


Evie Higginbotham

Senior Young Singer – Winner 2023


Evie Jean Higginbotham, 16 years old, King Edward VI Lichfield, ABRSM Grade 6 Singing.

In school, I perform with the Senior Choir and Girls Choir and outside of school, I have sung numerous solos in all Staffordshire theatres, including the Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham Symphony Hall.

My hobbies are singing and acting. I also compete nationally in Freestyle disco dance events.

One of my A-level choices is music and is something I wish to pursue for the future.

Composer / Song writer Winner

Sophie Mayne

Composer/Song writer Winner 2023


Sophie Mayne attends Lichfield Cathedral School where she is studying Music Technology, English Literature and Design and Technology at A-Level.  Sophie’s principal instrument is the drums, but she also plays rhythm guitar, violin, piano and voice.  She is a Choral Scholar at Lichfield Cathedral and regularly sings in services as part of the choir.  Music is her passion, and she organises a school rock band and supervises other music groups for younger pupils at the school.  Sophie was delighted to be awarded the Staffordshire young composer of the year prize for her piece ‘No more Ballet Shoes in Ukraine in 2023.  Sophie has applied to study music at University and has been offered a Choral Scholarship at Oxford.

No more ballet shoes in ukraine staffordshire young musician MP3

Composition PDF

Composer Instrumental Winner

Ellayna Sherrard

Composer Instrumental Winner 2023

Light & Shade PDF

Light & Shade MP3

Memories from 2022