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Musician of the Year, Helen Villarino, St Mary's Catholic Academy

Each year in March we hold our
Annual Musician of the Year competition.

2018's competition took place on Tuesday 19th June at Springfield Methodist Church.

This is a wonderful event for Key Stages 2,3 and 4, which encourages friends and family to support their talented children in a pleasant but competitive environment.

Andrew White commented to Blackpool Evening Gazette:
“Blackpool Music Service’s Musician of the Year provided a wonderful opportunity for Blackpool’s finest musicians to display their musical talents. It was a real joy to see so many talented musicians performing at such a high standard. The variety of music played made this an entertaining evening for all. The instrumental skills displayed, at times, was breath-taking. Many congratulations to all who participated’.


John Doyle

Adjudicator John Doyle B Mus (Hons) R.N.C.M, P.G.C.E

John Doyle is heralded as one the UK’s leading performers on the cornet, flugel horn, soprano cornet and trumpet and is in great demand as a soloist, conductor, adjudicator and educator.

Originally from the Lancashire area, John has conducted and performed with many of the country’s leading brass bands. He is currently flugel horn with the Leyland Band but spent 9 years with Black Dyke Band as their flugel horn soloist and a further year as their repiano cornet player. During this time, he travelled to Bermuda, America, Canada, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Norway and Australia. Not only this, but he was also involved in the ‘Groundforce’, ‘Dinnerladies’, ‘Jools Holland Live’ and ‘Songs of Praise’ television programmes. John has recorded with artists such as Peter Gabriel, The Beautiful South, The Eels, Moby, Billy Bragg, Craig David, Gabrielle, Merz and most recently, Kate Rusby.

John is a real educator and believes in making music fun for all young people. In the past, he has tutored with the National Youth and Children’s Brass Bands of Great Britain as well as various youth bands around the country.

John currently holds the position of Head of Creative Faculty at Lostock Hall Academy in Preston. John is a teaching fellow of the University of Cumbria and a ‘Champion Teacher’ for Musical Futures. He also holds the title of ‘Champion Educator’ with Lancashire Music Service for his work as Head of Music in the Lancashire region. John enjoys playing for his ‘local band’, Leyland, being a town resident of Leyland for the past 16 years.

Adjudicating is an area that John feels very passionate about. He is a member of ABBA (Association of Brass Band Adjudicators) and has judged at various competitions including the National Finals, Regional Contests, National Youth Band Championships, Dr Martin Contest, IABCB National Band Championships and the Belgium, Dutch and Danish National Finals to name a few. John is one of the youngest adjudicators in the brass and wind band movements.

In January 2018, John was appointed Musical Director of the Championship section Northop Silver Band after winning his first contest with them at the North Wales Rally in November 2017. Conducting is an area that John continues to explore and freely discusses the positive impact that judging has had on preparing a band for competition. He is an advocate of new music and arranges and composes a range of different styles of music for brass band. His works have been featured on various CD’s DVD’s and in concert programmes up and down the country.


Oscar Brooks

Primary School Winners 2018

John praised all of the entrants as the performances were of a very high standard. He gave some valuable feedback to all contestants regarding stage presence and smiling with confidence.

The Primary school first place went to pianist Oscar Brooks from St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School playing 'Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow' by Ben Crossland.

Second place went to Kasey-Lee Connor from Anchorsholme Primary Academy on flute playing a piece by Dave Stapleton called 'Whistling'.

Third place went to pianist Ethan Frohlick playing a piece called 'Closer' by King/Slade/Taggart.


Hanna Villarino

High School Winners 2018.

First place for the Key stage 3 section went to Amelia Tilling from St Mary's Catholic Academy playing 'Nocturn in E flat, Op 9 No. 2' on flute.

The winner of the Key stage 4 section and overall Musician of the Year went to Hanna Villarino an exceptionally talented pianist also playing 'Nocturn in E flat, Op. 9 No. 2'.