Cellist is through to Rotary finals

Ben Messenger, winner of Class 6, who is to go forward to the Rotary District competition. (S)
Ben Messenger, winner of Class 6, who is to go forward to the Rotary District competition. (S)

Sixteen-year-old cellist Ben Messenger – one of the 2014 Ripon Young Musicians of the Year – is to perform in the final of the national Rotary Young Musician competition, having won both the district and regional rounds.

Ben, who lives in Helperby and is a student at Boroughbridge High School, studies the cello with nationally acclaimed teacher Sue Lowe.

David Winpenny, who founded Ripon Young Musicians of the Year in 2001, said: “For several years our competition has provided young musicians for the national Rotary Young Musician event. We are delighted that this year we have Ben in the final.

“We know he is an exceptional musician and he will undoubtedly do us proud in his music-making.”

Ben was always determined to study the instrument and began, aged four, on a one-thirty-second-sized cello.

He will compete in the Young Musician Competition, sponsored by Rotary International in Britain and Ireland, at Darwen in Lancashire on Saturday, May 16, when he will play a 10-minute programme of contrasting works.

In the Ripon Young Musicians of the Year competition, held in October last year, Ben won Class 6, for students in Years 9 and 10, and was chosen to go forward to the Rotary District and Regional rounds, which were held in York.

As part of his prize, Ben received tickets for a cello recital organised by Ripon Cathedral Concert Society, where he met local resident David Page, who offered to lend Ben a fine antique German cello, which he will play in the final.