A young saxophonist from Ickleton has progressed to the finals of a national music competition.

Marcus Wentzell, 17, was named winner of the instrumentalist competition at the Saffron Young Musician Festival in November, run by Rotary.

Since then he has gone on to win both the Rotary district and regional finals, earning him a place at the national final.

He will compete in the final on Sunday, April 21 at Stoller Hall at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, which is the largest specialist music school in the UK and the only one based in the north of England.

The judges, who are leading professionals in their individual disciplines, review each performance according to its melodic and rhythmic accuracy, intonation, tempo, flow, tone, mood and character.

They finally consider the holistic view of the performance on the day, and have been "dazzled" by Marcus's variety and skill on the saxophone, which included a mix of jazz and classical pieces.

In addition to his music, Marcus attends the Perse School in Cambridge and is studying A-levels in maths, further maths, physics and computer science.

This is the second consecutive year that Saffron Walden Rotary Club has had a representative at the national finals, and on both occasions the candidates started by winning their local competition at Saffron Hall.

The Rotary Young Musician Competition, run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, and is designed to support and encourage the development of musical talent, and is open to all levels, grades and styles of young instrumentalists and vocalists.

Musicians must be in full-time education and have been under 17 up to August 31, 2023.

Tim Boyden, president of Saffron Walden Rotary, said: "Marcus’s performances have been excellent and the judges, at every stage, have been so extremely impressed.


"Marcus is a very deserving finalist in our prestigious competition; we wish him well in the national final."

Rotary is one of the world’s largest and most successful global membership and humanitarian service organisations, with 1.4 million members in over 200 countries.

The Saffron Walden group meets on the second, fourth and fifth Wednesday of every month.