THE very best traditional musical talent from North Ayrshire’s secondary schools came together at Garnock Community Campus for the North Ayrshire Traditional Musician and Traditional Singer of the Year competition.

Organised by North Ayrshire Council’s Music Service, the event saw talented pupils battle it out in four categories – Traditional Musician of the Year, Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Traditional Singer of the Year and Young Traditional Singer of the Year – with the audience treated to some fine performances on a range of instruments including fiddle, bagpipes and clarsach.

In the junior vocal section (S1 to S3) Gemma Irvine from Auchenharvie Academy took top honours, with the runner up prize going to Iona Dunlop of Ardrossan Academy.

And in the senior vocal section (S4 to S6), Beth Prentice from Greenwood Academy took first prize with Nicola Thomson from Irvine Royal Academy as the runner up.

Thomas Calley from Garnock Community Campus won the Young Traditional Musician of the Year category (S1 to S3) with his performance on bagpipes, with Ross Bryant of Kilwinning Academy in second place.

And in the Traditional Musician of the Year section (S4 to S6), piper Rebecca Melaugh of Greenwood Academy took the top prize, followed by runner up Reece O’Hanlon of Auchenharvie Academy (fiddle).

Adjudicators for the event were two well respected traditional musicians, Emma Tomlinson and Adam Sutherland.

The event also saw the presentation of Irvine Burns Club’s prize for Most Promising Young Piper, which was won by Thomas McBride of Garnock Community Campus.

After presenting the prizes, Provost Ian Clarkson said: “This event has once again proved just how much musical talent can be found in North Ayrshire’s schools.

“It is fantastic to see younger generations continuing Scotland’s rich musical heritage and taking a keen interest in traditional instruments and song.

“The commitment and hard work of these talented pupils shone through in their performances on Wednesday evening, and they should all be very proud of themselves.”