Student Harry Smith has beaten off stiff musical competition to be crowned Southern Cotswolds Rotary Young Musician of the Year.

The 17-year-old pupil of Malmesbury School wowed the judges with his alto sax performance to claim the £300 prize.

He will now go on to the national finals later in the year.

Harry, who lives in Sherston, said he enjoyed the pressure of performing live and hopes to go on to become a professional musician. “I’m blessed that I don’t really get nervous,” he said. “It was just exciting.

“For me, performance is the most important aspect of music.”

Harry, a member of the Wiltshire Youth Orchestra, is putting his prize money towards the group’s trip to China in October.

Proud dad Martin, an IT project manager, said his son’s musical ability almost certainly came from his wife Joy, who is a piano teacher in schools around Malmesbury.

Mr Smith said: “We’re extremely proud, he’s a real budding musician. It makes all the hours in the car taking him to lessons and performances worthwhile. As he got better the lessons got more expensive and we had to travel further afield to find the right teachers.

“It’s nice that we can now sit back and bask in his glory.”

Harry first picked up the violin at the age of seven and a year later started playing the saxophone.

Mr Smith said: “He’s a violinist in the Wiltshire Youth Orchestra but he’s probably a better sax player now.

“He’s really thrown himself into the musical life at Malmesbury School and really enjoys the Christmas concerts. He relishes being on stage.

“Some people can find that hard but he seems to up his game and has a natural enthusiasm for live performing.”

In February Harry will be spending part of his gap year at Paris’ famous music college The Conservatoire.