A SALISBURY musician has scooped the prestigious Liz Lawrence Award - recognising the best young musical talent in Wiltshire.

Sophie Madden, 18, impressed the panel at music charity Wiltshire Rural Music with her performance, both as a singer and a trumpet player, and took the title as well as the £1,000 cheque.

She said: “I couldn’t be more grateful to be this year’s winner of the Liz Lawrence Award. The whole process has been a privilege and an invaluable confidence boost.”

The Mayor of Salisbury, Councillor John Walsh, presented the cheque, provided by Wiltshire Rural Music, to Sophie. He said: “It is very reassuring to know that Salisbury has such talent in our community. All praise to Sophie’s parents who gave her every encouragement and the South Wilts Grammar School who nurtured her talent.”

Wiltshire Rural Music is a charity supporting young people with bursaries for music lessons and instrument hire.

For more than 15 years it has been awarding the best young musician in Wiltshire with the Liz Lawrence Award.

The £1,000 cheque will help Sophie on her musical journey as she heads to Cambridge University to continue her music education.

Excited to curate her own concert with the charity, Sophie added: “I can’t wait to begin my studies at Cambridge, but I’m also really looking forward to returning home to Salisbury next year for a concert to celebrate the award.”

The concert will take place next summer, with Sophie sharing centre stage with last year’s winner, clarinettist Grace White, whose performance was postponed this year due to Covid restrictions.