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Lord Mayor presents Guild of Guardians Awards for Young Musicians

A group of young people pose with two adults wearing ceremonial medallions

Seven young musicians performed at a special event celebrating their talents and achievements. Each musician was presented with an award and prize by The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Paul Goggin and the Lead Guardian of the Guild of Guardians, Donna Speed, to support them in their musical journey.

Selected by Bristol Beacon for their contribution to music in the city, the young people performed at the ceremony in Lantern Hall in front of the Lord Mayor, friends, family and the Guild of Guardians community.

As Bristol’s Music Education Hub, we are proud to formally acknowledge the seven young musicians who are exemplary members of our musical ensembles, on behalf of the Guild of Guardians.

In Medieval times Bristol retained the services of four entertainers who performed on civic occasions. By 1540 they were officially known as the “City Waits”, and the name is presumed to come from the ‘wait-pipe’ which was an early form of oboe.

The office of City Waits was revived in 1988 by the Guild of Guardians – a charity that aims to improve the quality of the civic life of Bristol – with the musical history now reflected in these awards.

Many previous recipients of these awards from the Guild of Guardians have gone on to become professional musicians, using their prize money to buy new instruments and support their musical activity.

Header image L-R: Lead Guardian Donna Speed, Gracie Akinkunmi, Arthur Conyers, Samuel Harvey, Hannah Killick, Ori Sivayokan, Lubo Rnic, Jasmine Chau, Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Paul Goggin. Photography by Giulia Spadafora.

A wooden box with five metal medallions


The Guild of Guardians awards recognise outstanding achievements in music making, and reflect the passion and commitment to music we have here in Bristol. Thank you so much to all of our musicians”

Donna Speed, Lead Guardian, Guild of Guardians

Award for Musical Potential

Five young people received certificates and a £400 award to support their musical activity for their dedication to music in the city.

  • Gracie Akinkunmi, Rap – Gracie is a Rapper from Montpelier High School. Having joined Bristol Youth Studios in January this year, Gracie gave her first ever public performance on Bristol Beacon’s Weston Stage as part of a showcase for the group with two tracks she had written herself. Gracie writes all her own music and wants her music to tell a story. This award will continue to help Gracie develop as a young artist and she hopes to be able to collaborate with other rappers and singers in the future. 
  • Jasmine Chau, Violin – Jasmine is a Violin player at Wellsway School. Just over a year ago, Jasmine moved from Hong Kong to the UK and has since joined Bristol Youth Orchestra. Jasmine started playing the Violin when she was 4 years old and played for a number of year with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Hong Kong, before moving to Bristol. Jasmine wishes to continue sharing her passion of music with others through school events, orchestral playing and music-making with friends and this award will help her attend musical events and workshops to continue her development. 
  • Samuel Harvey, Piano – Samuel is a student at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and has been learning the Piano for 3 years. In such a short time, he has already passed his Grade 6 exam with a merit – something to be very proud of! Most recently, Samuel was the accompanist for his brother’s Grade 5 violin exam in which he got a distinction. As well as playing the Piano, Samuel also plays the Violin and Recorder, and hopes to learn the Trumpet or Oboe when he goes to secondary school. Samuel will use this award to help with his future musical tuition and wants to inspire everyone to play an instrument!
  • Lubo Rnic, Euphonium – Lubo is a member of the Bristol branch of the National Open Youth Orchestra and is working towards his Grade 5 on the Euphonium and also the Piano. Lubo plays the Euphonium in a community band in Pill and is a member of a drama group for adults with learning disabilities. Performing for other people and seeing them happy is what motivates Lubo to play. Lubo will use this award to help him continue his musical development & education, and to take further exams in both Euphonium and Piano.
  • Ori Sivayokan, Flute – Ori is a Flautist from Bristol Grammar School. Ori is multi-talented, and also plays the Piccolo, Recorder, Piano, Harp, Violin as well as Indian instruments such as Miruthangam, Bansuri Flute and Nadaswaram! Ori is a member of the Bristol Beacon Junior Wind Band and has recently taken part in a workshop with National Children’s Orchestra. This award will help Ori advance in his musical studies as he hopes to perform internationally as a professional musician. 
A young person wearing a shirt plays the flute

City Waits Award

Two young people received the prestigious City Waits award in recognition of their very high standard of musicianship and contribution to music making in Bristol. An example to their peers, they received a City Waits Award certificate, presented with the City Waits Medallion and £800 to support their musical career.

  • Arthur Conyers, French Horn – Arthur is a French Horn player from Bristol Cathedral Choir School and is also a member of Bristol Youth Orchestra. Having only been playing the Horn since he was in Year 7Arthur has already achieved a distinction in his Grade 7 and is about to take his Grade 8 exam. As well singing with the Cathedral Consort and his schools’ chamber choir, Arthur is a current associate member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and has recently been able to perform Strauss’ Alpine Symphony conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Arthur will use this award to help him purchase a new French Horn with a detachable bell, which will help him pursue his ambition of becoming a professional musician.
  • Hannah Killick, Viola – Hannah is a student at Redmaids’ High School and is the current Viola section leader of Bristol Youth Orchestra. Hannah is also in her second year of playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain where she is able to perform with like-minded and motivated musicians and also participate in workshops to encourage the future generations of orchestral players. Most recently, Hannah has performed the Bruch Viola Concerto with Bristol Youth Orchestra on the Beacon Hall stage as part of the Schools’ Gala Concert. Hannah hopes to have a future career as a professional musician and this award will help Hannah buy a new Viola ahead of her commencing studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in September.
A young person plays the violin on the stage

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