Finals date for star performer Elliott

Elliott Gaston-Ross, Kirkham Grammar School
Elliott Gaston-Ross, Kirkham Grammar School
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A talented pianist has wowed judges to be named a finalist in a prestigious music competition.

Elliott Gaston-Ross, a student at Kirkham Grammar School, will compete against the cream of the UK’s young musical talent in the BBC Young Musician Competition.

The 15-year-old has been selected as one of five contestants for the Percussion Category Final and will undergo a series of intensive judging stages before hopefully reaching the final later on this year.

Kerry Clark, competition manager, said: “The category finalists, including Elliott, have shown a remarkable level and breadth of talent.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work with these outstanding young musicians over the coming months and watching their progress through to the 2014 final.”

Earlier this month, BBC camera crews went to visit the GCSE student as he performed with his school swing band.

Reaching the finals of the competition is an achievement in itself.

A spokesman for Kirkham Grammar School said: “After an extensive audition process, judges have announced five finalists for each of its categories – strings, keyboard, woodwind, brass and percussion.

“More than 450 entries were received for the contest from musicians aged between 8 and 18 years old.

“Kirkham Grammar School is very proud to announce that Elliot Gaston-Ross has been selected as one of the five contestants for the percussion category final.

“These places are very coveted and it is testament to Elliot’s commitment and hard work that he has achieved this level.”

Category finals will take place from March 3 to 7 in the Dora Stoutzker Hall, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, in Cardiff. Five musicians per category will perform in front of an audience and a panel of adjudicators with the finals broadcast on BBC Four.

The semi-final will take place at the same venue on March 9 before five category winners perform once more.

The semi-final will be broadcast on BBC Four.

If Elliott gets through both stages he will go on to the BBC Young Musician Final in May at Usher Hall in Edinburgh in front of an audience and a panel of adjudicators.

The final will be broadcast on BBC Four and Radio 3.