A teenage guitarist has scooped £1,000 prize money in an Essex music competition.

Tom Hodgkinson, 17, came first in the 2022 Essex Young Musician of the Year competition.

The Brentwood School student, who studied at the Junior Trinity Laban Conservatoire and is currently under the mentorship of guitarist John Williams, also won the audience prize.

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Ongar Music Club hosted the competition, having been held on Zoom for the last two years due to Covid restrictions.

Its chairman Jane Webster said: “We are thrilled that the club has continued to thrive, in spite of the difficulties faced during the past two years.

“Ongar Music Club is one of the oldest music clubs in the UK, and to finally be back at Budworth Hall in Ongar with a large audience enjoying live music is just wonderful.

“This is the 38th year we have presented the competition, and the talent we heard today from young Essex musicians was outstanding.

“I look forward to booking the winner’s concerts into the Ongar Music Club events diary for 2022/23.”

The second prize of £400 and recital engagements was won by the cellist Gabriel Francis-Dehqani, 22, who is currently studying at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

The third prize of £300 was won by flautist Katie Bartels, 20, the fourth prize of £200 was won by soprano Jessica Edom-Carey, 26, and the fifth prize of £100 was won by the 13-year-old pianist Henry Li.

The two under-19 prizes were won by pianist Archie Playle, 13, and violist Florence Cope, 17.

The event was attended by the club’s chair of trustees, county councillor Jaymey McIvor.

He said: “I was proud to see Ongar host the Essex Young Musician of the Year competition.

“The level of standard for entries was high and it’s clear that there is outstanding young musical talent in Essex.

“Ongar should be proud to host such talent and be part of the journey of such talented young musician’s careers.”

Ongar Music Club was founded in 1975 by a group of local music enthusiasts.

And in 1984 the Essex Young Musician of the year competition started under the patronage of the Essex-born pianist John Lill.