The winner of this year’s Ongar Music Club's Essex Young Musician of the Year 2019 has been announced.

Michael Lafferty, 22, a baritone from Southend, wowed the judging panel at the competition in Budworth Hall, Ongar, on Sunday, July 7.

The singer received £1,000 cash prize and the Essex Young Musician of the Year Cup and a recital engagement - from Ongar Music Club's president, distinguished pianist, John Lill.

Mr Lafferty said: "I'm absolutely over the moon. I've been doing music since I was about six or seven in Essex - Southend Music Festival and concerts. To have got to this stage is a real honour for me. I'm very proud.

I would love to be doing opera. I really love song and jazz music, loads of different genre of music but opera is very much where I want to head towards and what I want to train in, so eventually I would love to be doing roles in opera house, doing tours with companies and stuff like that.

"It's a long old road to becoming a successful opera singer so I've got a while yet, but I'm looking forward to it."

Runner-up was pianist Alexander Benham, 23, received £400 and The Musgrave Cup.

Third place was awarded to soprano Jessica Edom, 23, who won £300 and the Ongar Music Club medal.

Pianist Joanna Lam, 23, was fourth and was presented with £200 and the Ongar Round Table medal while violinist Callum Sherriff, 24, came fifth.

Sherriff was awarded £100 of Chimes Music Shop tokens and The Webster Medal.

Two musicians also received prizes for the most promising under-19 performers.

The Geoffrey Timms Prize was presented to 12-year-old pianist Alanna Crouch and The Hall Memorial Prize was awarded to clarinettist Vivien Wong, 15, receiving £100 respectively.