Supported by the Wessex Young Musicians Trust, the Don Riddell Memorial Prize (an annual award given each summer in memory of the orchestra’s founding conductor) was set up in 2010. The prize - £200 worth of London music shop gift vouchers, is given in recognition of a member’s “outstanding commitment to the WYO”. Such talented young musicians as those in the WYO, will always be busy musicians, and with that comes full schedules, potential diary clashes, prioritising and a lot of hard work. But this is where we begin to see potential winners stand out. Whilst not everyone is always available, those who can organise their diaries in advance and show professionalism and reliability, prove themselves to be worthy contenders. But each season, we also see new examples of members’ commitment to the orchestra - participation in extra projects such the WYO Mentor Scheme, the Wessex Youth Chamber Orchestra concerts or Wessex Young Soloist Concert series, representing the WYO in various charity fundraising performances across the local area, supporting fellow orchestral members, showing positive leadership skills, helping with the general smooth running of rehearsals or with stage management and not forgetting making exceptional progress on their instrument – these are all examples that catch the attention of the award decision maker – the WYO Director. The Don Riddell Memorial Prize allows the orchestra and Director to say thank you and bravo to some very special young people, and in doing so, continue to teach, encourage and support qualities in young musicians that Don himself placed such value upon.
The Don Riddell Memorial Prize - Hall of Fame
2020 - ???
2019 - Hannah McFarlane - principal cello (£200)
2018 - Lydia Bennett - principal bassoon and previously principal clarinet (£200)
2017 - Harriet Rhind - principal percussionist (£200)
2016 - Helena Bartlett - WYO leader (£200)
2015 - Rachel Leigh - principal cello, Joe Gallivan - principal trumpet (£100 each)
2014 – Oskar Apperley – principal viola, Jack Bond – principal double bass, Eszter Sitku – WYO leader (£100 each)
2013 – Polly Bartlett – principal oboe (£200)
2012 – Nathalie Green-Buckley – leader (£200)
2011 – Tom Kidman – principal trumpet, Hannah Scott – principal flute (£100 each)
2010 – James Hunter – percussion, Rob Taylor - percussion (£100 each)