A ROSS High School student has been named the inaugural East Lothian Council Young Musician of the Year at a gala concert last Saturday evening.

S5 pupil Corey Dodds, from Tranent, was selected from 16 of the county’s most talented young musicians to take home the prize at the concert in Haddington’s St Mary’s Parish Church.

Two runner-up prizes were also awarded to clarinettist Sam Russell, from Dunbar Grammar School, and drummer Ben Gentil, from Knox Academy, for their superb performances.

The event took place over one day, with 16 soloists performing a five-minute programme in front of a panel of expert judges that included Christine McGinley and Jonathan Gawn, members of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

In the evening, 10 of the soloists were invited back to perform a full eight-minute programme in the live gala concert in front of friends, family and the music-loving public.

Corey wowed audience members, playing Preludio saudade from La Catedral, by Agustin Barrios Mangore, and Tango en Skai by Roland Dyens on guitar.

He will now advance to the national final at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland next month, where he will compete against the best young musicians from across the country.

Corey was delighted with his achievement but also very thankful to his teacher who inspired him to pick up the guitar.

He said: “Everyone was amazing in the competition and I still can’t believe that I won.

“My hard work over the past five years has paid off.

“I also want to thank my guitar teacher Mr Chris Day, as without him I wouldn’t have picked up classical guitar!”

Paul Reynolds, headteacher at the Tranent secondary school, also shared his delight at Corey’s achievement, saying that he was a “phenomenal musician” who had made the school proud.

He said: “Everyone at Ross High School is delighted that Corey received this award.

“Not only is he a phenomenal musician but he is also really humble with it.

“It was a pleasure to see how much this meant to him.

“We are all very proud of Corey.”