About RYMY

Our People

Chairman:                                            Brian D'Olier       brian@dolier.co.uk

Heats Organiser:                                Denise Wellham   rymycompetition@btinternet.com
Finals Organiser:                                Denise Wellham

Musical Advice & expertise             Andrew McFarlane andrew@chorleywoodmusic.com

Funding & Gen. Administration       Denise Wellham as above


If you are interested in helping with the organisation and running of the competition in any capacity, please get in touch.

Our History

This competition for students of classical music was first inaugurated in 1983 following a joint initiative by Rotary Club of Rickmansworth and Three Rivers Music Society.  It has taken place annually and has grown from strength to strength.  The standard of musicianship from the competitors is high.  Many finalists continue their studies at major music colleges in the UK or abroad.  A number become members of the National Youth Orchestra and then progress to major symphony orchestras, some becoming principals.

Until 2007, our title was "Three Rivers" but over the years the competition has outgrown this artificial boundary and competitors come from a wide range of schools, most of which are outside the District boundary.  The competitors themselves now hale from Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, London and other Northern Home Counties.  Some pupils attending schools within this area live abroad including mainland Europe, Israel or SE Asia.

The competition is open to musicians under the age of 19 who are studying any instrument within the classical discipline, or voice.  The minimum standard is Grade VIl and although many competitors are above this level, we welcome all qualifying students since the competition provides an invaluable opportunity to perform in public.  Eight finalists are chosen at the preliminary round (held in May).   Prize money totals about £800 and all finalists receive a monetary prize.  Local companies and individuals provide sponsorship, prize money and encouragement.

The aim of the competition is to provide performing opportunities for young musicians, not only in the event itself but on other occasions.  The main prize winners are invited to play before the Three Rivers Music Society following the competition.  

We have forged a link with the Amersham Music Festival and over the year Finalists have performed at the Festival.  We envisage this link will continue well into the future..

Prizes for the Competition

First Prize - £400
Second Prize - £200
Third Prize - £100

The other 5 finalists receive £20 each.

This year, the 2018 winner will, if a suitable standard has been demonstrated, also be offered an opportunity to perform as a soloist with Chorleywood Orchestra.

Trophies will be awarded at the Final Concert for the best performer in each category: Piano / Harp, Strings (including Guitar), Brass, Woodwind, Percussion and Voice, subject to a minimum of three entrants performing in that category in the Preliminary Rounds.

2018 Finals Adjudicators


Belinda Mikhaïl

Belinda Mikhaïl was awarded the Associated Board and Queen Mother Scholarships to study piano and singing as a joint first study at the Royal College of Music, where she won the Hopkinson Gold Medal for her final recital. Since graduating she has travelled extensively, performing both as a soloist and chamber musician and has appeared as a concerto soloist at the major London concert halls. Belinda is in demand as a vocal coach and has students enjoying major roles in West End Shows. She runs an extensive teaching practice and directs a number of choirs, as well as being an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. She has made numerous recordings for Sony BMG and Universal, and is the vocal soloist on many major film soundtracks.


Richard Wainwright

Richard performs with many of the leading London orchestras and is principal horn of the London Festival Orchestra, English Festival Orchestra, New London Soloists, Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Belmont Ensemble, Bath Philharmonia and the Camerata of Ireland. He was a member of the European Chamber Orchestra eight years, touring extensively in the Middle and Far East, South America, South Africa and the USA. He has recorded soundtracks of Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings or Warner Bros and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for solo winds with the Belmont Ensemble. Richard is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and a committed teacher with many of his students now pursuing professional careers. Richard is conductor of Chorleywood Orchestra.


Susan Collier

Susan has a lifelong passion for communication through music. Inspired, at the age of three, by her first public performance as a violinist at the Royal College of Music, she has since dedicated herself to expertise in performance and directing. She has put into practice skills of artistic interpretation, reading and playing to audiences, timing and sensitivity. She has a keen sense of how to convey musical expression, whether as a soloist, conductor, teacher, director, or as part of an orchestra or chamber group.

Susan devotes much time to organising and performing in fund-raising events, and is an Adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. She teaches the violin to university students and pupils at RAMJD, where she also coaches chamber music. As Director of Performance at Mill Hill County High School, Susan conducts the Chamber Orchestra and directs the Barbershop. She freelances with various London-based ensembles and performs with the Silvestre Trio, as well as her son Jacob Collier. Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music as a violin scholar, Susan became the youngest violin professor in their Junior Department and has since been awarded an ARAM for outstanding services to the violin profession.

In the press

Musical Youth: Rickmansworth Young Musician of the Year 2009, Optima, 19 June 2009

 © 2018 Rickmansworth Young Musician of the Year
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