A budding songwriter from Aberdeen has won the prestigious BBC Young Composer of The Year Award.
Former pupil at St Margaret’s School for Girls Jenna Stewart took home the title for 2021.
The BBC Young Composer of the Year is 12- to 18-year-old students who create their own original music.
Now Jenna will work with a mentor composer on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
From an incredible 529 entrants to six winners, Jenna was one of two to win in
her seniors category.
And here is one of the many reasons she was successful – her own composition about the NHS:
How did young composer Jenna get here?
Jenna comes from a musical family and started playing guitar and violin at the age of seven and she wrote her first piece of music with her dad when she was eight.
The music which won her the award is a piece for two sopranos with her own spoken voice and electronic effects, called Lost Times which explores the theme of the changing landscape in the Scottish Highlands.
It was one of many songs Jenna wrote in the midst of the pandemic.
‘Truly stunned’ by competition win
Jenna Stewart admits she did not think she would win the title and has praised St Margaret’s School for Girls for their support.
She said: “I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work on my music with full support from St Margaret’s.
“I’m not sure I could have won this award if it were not for St Margaret’s constant encouragement from the very start of my musical journey.
“When I found out I was one of this year’s winners, I was truly stunned. When I entered the competition I did not expect to win, I entered it more for the experience of ‘putting music out there’.
“After I processed it, I was so ecstatic, it felt amazing to know that such an esteemed
panel of judges could really appreciate my composition.”
Jenna left school earlier this year. She has taken a gap year before going to study music at Edinburgh Napier University in 2022.
Former school proud of young composer Jenna
Anna Tomlinson, headteacher of St Margaret’s School for Girls, said:
“We are so proud of Jenna and all that she has achieved, both in school and now with her BBC Young Composer of The Year Award.
“Here at St Margaret’s we want nothing more than for our pupils to find something they are passionate about and succeed.
“Jenna is a wonderful example of how hard work, dedication and enjoying what you do can reap rich rewards.
“As a school, it is important to us that we nurture these attributes from an early age to enable our pupils to flourish and thrive on the path of their choice.”