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The orchestra is keen to encourage young performers, and holds an annual Young Musicians’ Competition. This is open to instrumentalists and singers of school age who live or study within a 30-mile radius of Reading and who have reached a standard at least equivalent to Grade 7 of the Associated Board.

The competition winner receives cash vouchers for Hickies Music Shop and a trophy. Also, if a suitable standard has been reached, the winner is offered the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the orchestra in one of our public concerts.

From 2008 an additional award, the Joy Day Cup, has been made to the young musician whose performance shows the most promise. This is to commemorate Joy Day, a member of RSO for many decades who passed away in 2007.

YMC 2018

The Young Musicians’ Competition 2018, generously supported by Nirvana Spa and Hickies, took place on Sunday 29 April at Wellington College.

YMC 2016 winners with
members of the judging panel

2018 Winners

  • Overall Winner - Ewan Millar on oboe, a student at Reading School.
  • The winner of the Joy Day Cup was harpist Helena Pizura, of the Abbey School, Reading.

Ewan will be the soloist in a performance of Legacy by Oscar Navarro as part of our June 2018 concert.


YMC 2015 winner
Harvey Lin


What we play


Young Musicians' Competition