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Burton teen tickling the ivories for place in UK contest final

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 29, 2014

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A TALENTED Burton pianist will take her place amongst some of the finest young musicians in the country when she competes to take the top spot for her instrument in a national competition.

Hayley Parkes will pit her ivory-tickling skills against four other musicians from around the UK during the keyboard category final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year.

The contest will be screened to the nation at 7.30pm on Friday, on BBC4.

Hayley, who is studying in Manchester, told the Mail: ““I’m feeling ok about it. I’m a little bit nervous, but I think it will be a good opportunity to play and really enjoy it. I’m used to performing, but not necessarily doing it in front of a TV camera, but we’ll see how it goes.”

The 18-year-old has already been through several heats and finals to get to this stage.

If she wins the category final, she will then enter the semi-final, and eventually the final – which is due to be broadcast live from Edinburgh at the beginning of May.

Her mum, Katie, told the Mail: “We’re very proud. To get to where she has done is an achievement.”

Hayley entered the competition last year, following encouragement from a teacher at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester.

She has been studying music since she was 12, when she moved to Manchester to attend the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music.

She was selected for the school after taking part in a summer school.

Since then, she has gone from strength to strength, performing at major venues including the Bridgewater Hall, in Manchester, and the Royal Albert Hall.

Though she has plenty of performances under her belt, the teenager said this was the biggest thing she had ever been involved in.

On Friday, viewers will see Hayley and her opponent perform two pieces of music before a panel of judges.

There will also be a short film about her musical life and influences, which involved cameras invading her parents’ home so they could speak about the talented teenager.

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