GBRT Junior X Factor 2021

The Junior X Factor has held online in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. We sadly weren't able to get together in person for the heats and Finals concert, but GBRT's Trustees felt strongly that it is more important than ever for young people to have something positive to focus on and opportunities to develop their musical skills.


We were delighted to receive nearly 60 entries for this year's virtual competition. Our panel of expert judges - Andrea Possee, Andrew Cartwright, Debbie Smith, John Dilleigh and Kathryn Cartwright - watched and scored all of the entries via Zoom. Fourteen performers reached the required score of 100 out of 125 to reach the finals concert which premiered on YouTube at 7pm on Saturday 27th March. The concert also featured the three highest scoring composers and a performance by GBRT Youth Vocal Choir. The finalists were as follows:

  • Ava Lister, School Years 7-9, Voice
  • Boris Dring, School Years 7-9, Piano
  • Boris Dring, Composition
  • Ciaran Reiff-Marganiec, School Years 7-9, Cornet
  • Ellie Copping, School Years 1-6, Voice
  • Emmeline Rose Hamilton, School Years 1-6, Lever Harp
  • Gwenan Richards, School Years 1-6, Tenor Horn
  • Harry Attenborough, School Years 1-6, Guitar
  • Ione Banks, School Years 10-13, Voice
  • Isabella Lynn Juarez, School Years 1-6, Piano
  • Isla Reiff-Marganiec, School Years 7-9, Violin
  • Lily Vasey, School Years 1-6, Voice
  • Lotti Timson, School Years 10-13, Voice
  • Lotti Timson, Composition
  • Naomi Benson, School Years 10-13, Cello
  • Naomi Benson, Composition
  • Riley Vick, School Years 1-6, Trombone

Prize Winners

Most Promising Composer: Boris Dring, School Years 7-9

Most Promising Instrumentalist: Emmeline Rose Hamilton, School Years 1-6, Lever Harp

Most Promising Vocalist: Lily Vasey, School Years 1-6, Voice

Best Instrumental Performance: Ciaran Reiff-Marganiec, School Years 7-9 Cornet

Best Vocal Performance: Ione Banks, School Years 10-13, Voice

Best Original Composition: Naomi Benson, School Years 10-13

Overall Winner: Ione Banks, School Years 10-13, Voice

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GBRT Junior X Factor 2020

Our panel spent 11 hours listening to nearly 60 auditions for Junior X Factor 2020 on the weekend of 13th-15th March. The standard was once again incredibly high and a huge amount amount of work had clearly gone into preparing performances. It was therefore with great regret that we have had to cancel the Finals due to the social distancing measures that were introduced on the following Monday.

We were able to award the prize for Best Original Composition as this had been judged in advance. The remaining prizes will not be awarded this year as they were due to be based on performances in the Finals. Instead, we have divided up the funds that had been set aside for paying for vocal or instrumental lessons to award a prize for the Most Promising Instrumentalist and Most Promising Vocalist in each age category in the heats and for the Most Promising Group. The winners are:

Best Original Composition (joint winners): Ione Banks and Naomi Benson

Most Promising Instrumentalists: Riley Vick (School Years 1-6) - Trombone, Boris Dring (School Years 7-9) - Saxophone, The Rigby Quartet (School Years 10-13)

Most Promising Vocalist: Amber Mullings (School Years 1-6), Joseph Pugh (School Years 7-9), Lotti Timson (School Years 10-13)

Most Promising Group: The Wonderkatz

A huge well done to them all, and to the other Finalists:

Amelia McMillan, Voice, Brennan Vick, French Horn, Damien Cowie, Voice and Electric Guitar, Ione Banks, Voice, Lily and Maisie, Group, Maisie Meldrum, Voice, Naomi Benson, Cello, Oliver Horn, Saxophone

Junior X Factor winners 2020

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GBRT Junior X Factor 2019

Thirteen finalists were selected from more than 50 entrants into this year’s competition.

Composition - Boris Dring and Sam Benson

Performance - Amber Mullings (Voice), Atipa Mugoro (Drums, Brennan Vick (French Horn), Emily Bettinson (Violin), Ione Banks (Voice), Lily Ingall (Voice), Lotti Timson (Voice/Guitar), Martha Clay (Voice), Naomi Benson (Cello), Oliver Horn (Clarinet), Rhea Oancholi (Piano), Ria and Ffion (Voice), Zara Blyth (Voice)

The standard was extremely high and after a closely-fought Finals concert on 16th March the judges were delighted to award the following prizes:

Overall First Place

Overall 1st Place: Martha Clay (Voice)

Overall Second Place

Overall 2nd Place: Ione Banks (Voice)

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Overall Third Place

Overall 3rd Place: Ria Cousins and Ffion Richards (Voice)

Most Promising Instrumentalist

Most Promising Instrumentalist: Emily Bettinson (Violin)

Most Promising Vocalist

Most Promising Vocalist: Zara Blyth

Best Original Composition

Best Original Composition: Sam Benson

© Great Bowden Recital Trust
Registered Charity Number 1118140

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