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Talented Mount St Mary’s College musician, Harry Castle, has won the Junior Category of the highly prestigious BBC Proms Inspire Young Composer of the Year.

The award winning composition by Harry will be heard by a huge audience at this year’s BBC Proms when it will be performed by professional musicians.  It will also be broadcast on Radio 3.  As the Junior Category winner this year, Harry, 17, will also be invited to compose a piece for the Aurora Orchestra, a professional chamber ensemble based in London.

The competition, which attracted hundreds of entries from 12 to 18-year-old composers, has been running since 1978.  It is well known for discovering outstanding new talents.  Past winners include Thomas Hewitt Jones, who is celebrated for his commercial and ballet scores, and Alissa Firsova, whose first major BBC commission was premiered at last year’s BBC Proms.

Harry said, “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected as one of this year’s winners.  I have always looked up to the people who have won the competition in the past, and it seems a bit surreal now that I am one of them!  I’m very excited about the opportunities the competition brings and I’m really looking forward to hearing my piece at the proms.”

Head of Music at Derbyshire’s Mount St Mary’s College, Lucy Kitchener, said, “’This is an exceptional achievement.  Whilst Harry is very well known as a performer in the local area, his composing skills were apparent to us in the works he produced for his GCSE and A level.

“Harry manages to combine lovely melodic lines with unusual and exciting harmonies which make his music dynamic and accessible.  His ability to write successfully in a wide range of musical genres could lead to wonderful opportunities for him in the future.”

Harry, who takes on the role of Head Boy at Mount St Mary’s College from September, is no stranger to success.  In October he was selected to join the highly acclaimed London-based Rodolfus Choir, which is one of the leading youth choirs in the country.  He was awarded A* in his music A level, which he took two years early, and achieved  A* in GCSE Music at the age of 14.  He is hoping to study music at Cambridge when he leaves Mount St Mary’s.