French teenager Margaux Loire shines in Lasswade heat of Rotary’s Young Musician contest

Leading contestants in the local  heat of Rotary's Young Musician of the Year event were Leighton Griffin and Margaux Loire.
Leading contestants in the local heat of Rotary's Young Musician of the Year event were Leighton Griffin and Margaux Loire.

The performance of a French teenager was a highlight of the local heat of the East Scotland Rotary Young Musician of the Year contest.

After her recital of Handel’s Lascia ch’io Pianga, adjudicators did not hesitate to name soprano Margaux Loire best vocalist. Over from her home in Paris to spend an exchange year at Lasswade High School and improve her English, the 16-year-old was inspired to enrol for the contest by head of music Lorna Hume.

Margaux, who sings with the choir of Notre Dame Cathedral and also plays piano, said: “I was quite nervous at the start but then settled down and was so happy to come first. I could not believe what was happening to me.”

Ahead of the grand finals in March, her next step will be an intermediate concert at Heriot-Watt University. Among other entertainers who won judges’ praise for platform presence was Leighton Griffin (14). The young euphonium soloist performed Grandfather’s Clock variations. Other places in the contest were gained by Emma Glen and Courtney Russell, both in vocal. Pianist Billy Duffy came second in instrumental, while third place was shared between guitarist Tyler Durnion and Andrew Pennycook, on tuba.