22 September 2021
St Margaret’s School for Girls is celebrating the accomplishment of recent school leaver, Jenna Stewart, who has won the prestigious BBC Young Composer of The Year Award 2021.
The annual competition invites 12 to 18 year old students who create their own original music to submit their composition for the chance to work with a mentor composer on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra, culminating in a performance or broadcast opportunity. From an incredible 529 entrants to six winners, Jenna was one of two to win in her category. Judged by a panel of leading composers and music industry professionals who are passionate about finding and developing young talent, this year’s panel included the likes of Becky Hill, Benbrick and Sarah Freestone.
Inspired by her musical family, Jenna started playing the violin/guitar aged seven and remembers writing her first piece of music at the age of eight alongside her Dad. Jenna knew from an early age she wanted to pursue a life of creativity and as well as having a passion for composition, has also performed on violin, piano, voice and guitar. 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, one of her many works she wrote in the midst of the pandemic.
Jenna Stewart, former St Margaret’s School For Girls pupil and BBC Young Composer of The Year, 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.”
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.”
Jenna Stewart graduated from St Margaret’s School for Girls in the Summer of 2021 and is currently on a gap year and has been accepted to study Music at Edinburgh Napier University next year.