A former Salisbury Cathedral School music student has won the first-ever Casio Sessions competition.

The competition, hosted by the piano company Casio at the jazz club Ninety One Living Room on Brick Lane in Shoreditch, London, took place on Tuesday, September 19, featuring singer-songwriters who use the piano as their preferred instrument.

May Payne, 21, who grew up in Wimborne St Giles and was classically trained at Salisbury Cathedral School in years 7 and 8, shared the winning spot in a tie with Stefan Mahendra of South East London.

May said: “I think there were 14, 16 of us and they said there could only be one winner but I think when it came to it they just couldn’t decide.

“Honestly, I was just so surprised I won. I was not expecting it, at all.”

May first heard about the competition only two months before it took place, when she received a message from a friend while spending the summer in the United States. Registering for the competition was one of the first things she did when she got back home.

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May said she has been writing songs since she was a small child.

She said: “I think I wrote songs when I was pretty young, just as a fun thing. I think I found on my computer once a song I wrote when I was like seven or something.”

Casio Sessions was the first competition May has ever participated in, but she said she can see more competitions in her future.

She said: “I’ve never really been to an event like that. It was so cool. I’d really love to do something like that again.”

May has also recently released her debut EP- Sane, and is working with the other three members of the band she leads, also called May Payne, on future recordings and performances. Alongside May, the band features bassist Alex Bresh, guitarist Reuben Savage and drummer Gemma Watson.

Although nothing nearby is currently on the itinerary, May, who is now based in Manchester where she attends the Royal Northern College of Music, said she hopes to do some shows in East Dorset and the surrounding area in the future.

She said: “I’m not really connected to the music scene around there, but I’d really, really love to. It’s such a special place to me. That’s really my home, so I would really love to do some gigs around there if that opportunity arose.”