RIBI President Denis Spiller with the winners of the RIBI Young Musician Competition 2018.


This year saw the grand final of the Rotary in Britain and Ireland Young Musician competition held in Scotland for the first time. District 1020 Governor Lindsay Craig, a member of the host club Currie Balerno, opened the event, expressing the sense of pride felt by his club hosting the first Young Musician grand final north of the border.

He went on to thank Heriot-Watt University for the venue and for their kind donation - two trophies, awarded to Angelina and Ellis, the 2018 winners, and the university, welcomed the finalists to the last step of the competition.

Backing each young musician was a sizeable, appreciative audience, who were thrilled to be there, in turn, making the day a successful hit. Families, friends and teachers were gathered from across the country to show their support. Memories were formed and smiles were shared by all.

After being whittled down from four previous stages starting at club level, the heat was rising for the contestants, more than they had previously experienced.

The pressure was on, and a tough decision for the judges arose after many high-quality performances during the day.

The responsibility of the adjudication was in the hands of:

  • Dr Steve King – Director of Music at Heriot-Watt University
  • Emma Morwood – Soprano singer and music enthusiast
  • Peter Evans – teacher and music enthusiast

After careful consideration, winners were selected for both vocal and instrumental categories.

Pianist, Ellis Thomas, 16 and vocalist, Angelina Dorlin-Barlow, 17, stole the show with their incredible talents.

Ellis’ passion for piano was presented to all and Angelina demonstrated her superb singing.

There was also a special mention for Sofia Demetriades, a nine-year-old violinist. She was predicted to be a star of the future.

Young Musician plays out wellSofia playing her violin


Not only was Young Musician a huge sensation, Derek and Sandra Thomson organised a raffle for everyone to participate in.

The duo raised nearly £400, which was kindly donated to The Rotary Foundation.

Denis Spiller brought the day to a close, by giving thanks to the university, Rotary Club of Currie Balerno, the judges, parents, friends and family and most of all to the talented competitors.

These contestants are who make Rotary youth competitions complete.