The Shirley Malster Award for Oundle Young Singer of the Year


The award will be presented to the winner of Class V31 provided a mark of at least 87 is achieved.


Competitors attention is drawn to the Festival Rules, particularly nos. 7 and 8.


Following the success of the inaugural event won by Leilani Barratt in 2011 we were delighted to continue this competition to encourage young vocalists. 


Oundle Young Singer of the Year was a great confidence boost for me as a very young singer and it was certainly one of the earliest experiences that inspired me to pursue singing professionally.

I went on to study Music at Royal Holloway College where I was a choral scholar and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. I have since gained a place at The Royal College of Music, where I am continuing my postgraduate studies, and I am gradually building up work in London. Some achievements of which I am most proud include winning The Courtney Kenny Competition in 2016, singing with Opera Holland Park Chorus and performing my first main role in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea in central London. 



Shirley Burchell (nee Malster) first attended Oundle Festival as a member of her school choir, probably in 1949. In 1957 she entered her first vocal solo class.


Adjudicator Stanley Vann described her as a “singer with promise”. She eventually began training with him singing principal roles in G&S and grand opera.


Since 1976 she has been involved with helping to run this Festival, eventually becoming its Secretary.
After the Centenary celebrations in 2009 Shirley retired from this demanding role, but continues to help and advise.   

Oundle Young Singer 2017

Katie Marshall


"The Oundle Festival is such a wonderful and friendly music event and I am thrilled to have won the Shirley Malster award for Oundle Young Singer of the Year. 

The standard of singing is very high at Oundle Festival and it is wonderful to hear and learn from each other along the way in different classes. 

The festival is extremely well run and the high quality and constructive advice of the enthusiastic Adjudicators adds to the experience for the competitors. So much new knowledge can be taken away from the festival and this can only help to improve everyone's technique and musicality for future performances. 

The final Concert at St Peters Church was such a wonderful opportunity to watch other competitors from the festival. I really enjoyed performing the songs at the concert that won me the Young Singer of the Year Award. It was then really special to be presented with my award by Shirley Malster herself. "

Oundle Young Singer 2016


Millie Eve


Millie Eve from Titchmarsh won the Shirley Malster award for Oundle Young Singer of the Year 2016.

“I feel very privileged to have taken part in the Oundle Festival, as it is such a valuable and enjoyable experience. I have entered the festival many times and have always noticed the friendly and welcoming environment that exists. The adjudicators always give helpful and constructive advice, especially on how you can improve, and it is always beneficial to hear others perform. This year, the performances from other musicians and singers were of a very high standard and I feel very happy and privileged to have sung alongside them.

I am overjoyed at winning the Oundle Young Singer of the Year.”  Millie Eve

Oundle Young Singer 2015 


Anna Maria Muñoz

"When I arrived at the Oundle Festival I was quite nervous, but I immediately sensed a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere but with just the right amount of competitiveness. I could see that the other singers had worked very hard to prepare and so realised I had to put in my best effort. The feedback given by the adjudicator Mr Padmore was very detailed and I have come back with lots of constructive criticism that will really help me to progress.

I've never been to a Festival before so I think I had a lot to learn. I have never had an experience like it and I enjoyed every minute! Singing at the Festival Concert and winning Oundle Young Singer 2015 was amazing!"


Pictured at the Celebration Concert on  April 23rd, 2014.

 Dani Dixon

Oundle Young Singer of the Year




I am privileged to have been part of such a prestigious musical event. I have entered the Festival several times as a student at Prince William School and have enjoyed playing in the school String Group, Saxophone Ensemble, Jazz Band and Choir, all of which have entered and won their classes this year.
It is an excellent opportunity for young people to gain experience in performing to an audience and it is a way to discover what other ensembles and school groups are doing.
This year is the first time I have entered the Festival as a soloist and I really valued the experience of performing both in the classes and finally, in St Peters in front of an appreciative and familiar audience. The final concert had such an interesting variety of performers of a very high standard, including a number of students from my own school and others in local areas. I was thrilled to be able to take part in it.
Nina Bunting-Mitcham

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