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YMOG 2025

YMOG 2025

Young Musician of the Gulf  

26th - 30th January 2025


Making history in Abu Dhabi, the Young Musician of the Gulf (YMOG) competition, which originated at St Christopher's School in Bahrain in 1998,  is setting the stage for unprecedented musical excellence.

YMOG continues to foster and showcase the extraordinary talents of young musicians across the Gulf region and is a beacon of musical brilliance.

This competition stands as a testament to the power of music to inspire, transform, and unite. For five exhilarating days, schools from across the region come together for intense musical rivalry, culminating in a crescendo of creativity and mastery.

Entry Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

  • All entrants must be enrolled as a full-time student at a BSME school and will process their entry through that school.
  • All entrants must be 18 years or under on 31 August 2024.

Entry Specifics

  • Entries will only be accepted from and through schools who are members of BSME.

  • All communication between the Organisers and participants will be conducted via the participant’s school, not via a parent.

  • Every participant must be accompanied by a teacher from their school, not a parent.

  • The initial Google Entry Form is not a guarantee of entry.

  • The Organisers reserve the right to decline any entry which does not meet the required criteria.

  • Heads of Music are expected to retrieve all fee payments from students who wish to participate and complete a bank transfer to The British School Al Khubairat, BSAK on or before the deadline date – Monday 9th December 2024.

  • Schools who have not made full payment by the due date will be deemed to have withdrawn from the competition.

  • In the event of subsequent withdrawal, each person’s situation will be dealt with on a case by case basis.


Minimum Entry Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements

Please note that the use of ABRSM and/or Trinity examination levels are point of reference. Entrants do not need to have passed any examinations.

It is recommended that entrants be at or around this level in order to compete on equal terms with their peers.

In the event of entrants offering different instruments from the below list, clarification should be sought from the Organisers.

  • Clarinet Grade 7
  • Piano Grade 7
  • Flute Grade 7
  • Cello Grade 7
  • Violin Grade 7
  • Vocal Grade 7
  • Brass Grade 7
  • Oboe Grade 7
  • Guitar Grade 7
  • Recorder Grade 7
  • Double Bass Grade 7
  • Viola Grade 7
  • Orchestra Percussion Grade 7
  • Bassoon Grade 7
  • Saxophone Grade 7
Entry Procedure

Entry Procedure

  • Each school will be responsible for collecting and submitting all participant’s registration documentation.
  • Each school will be provided with an individual Google Drive shared folder to upload participant’s documents as outlined below:
    • Participant Entry Form
    • Participant Passport Copy
    • Participant Professional School Head Shot in School Uniform
      • Photo Specifics: 300 DPI .png or .jpeg  Please No Passport Photos
    • Participant Flight and Departure Times
    • Participant Photo and Social Media Waiver Form
    • Participant Music Scores for Round One, Round Two, Semi Final and Final. (.pdf only)

Important Dates

Event Outline


Solo Category Criteria

Initial Rounds

All entrants should choose repertoire which reflects the high level of performance expected during this competition.

Entrants who wish to improvise may do so provided the stimulus is submitted for the benefit of the judges. General criteria of the type used to assess GCSE/GCE performances which feature improvisation will be applied.

Categories which may include improvisation include ethnic instruments where improvisation is intrinsic in the nature of the instrument, and any other instrument. Backing tracks are not permitted.

Initial Heats

Participants from both the Instrumental and Vocal category will be selected to advance to the Second Round, Semi-Final and Grand Final within their respective categories at the Adjudicator's discretion.

The following table outlines the approximate percentage of entrants from each category who will advance through each round.

 Round 1Round 2Semi FinalFinal
Instrumentals100%70% of Round 130-40% of Round 25 Participants*
Vocalists100%70% of Round 130-40% of Round 21 Participant*

● The Instrumental participants will compete against other instrumental competitors from across the musical spectrum.

● The Vocal participants will compete exclusively against other vocalists.

Dependent upon numbers of entries in the various categories, it is anticipated that the Semi-Final will comprise of: 10/11 Instrumental Soloists; 6/7 Vocal Soloists; 2 Small Ensembles; 2 Small Vocal Ensembles; 2 Vocal Ensembles; and 2 Large Ensembles.
* Please note that this is a guide and subject to alteration at the discretion of the adjudicators.

Instrumental - Vocal Category

Solo Category

Round 1

  • Round one pieces will be of the performer’s choice and should be one piece lasting no longer than 6 minutes.
  • The Organisers advise that any performance may be terminated if it runs any longer than 6 minutes.

Round 2

  • Round Two pieces will be taken from the YMOG Instrumental Test Piece 2025 list that has been selected by the Host School.

Semi Final

  • Entrants selected to advance to the Semi-Final must choose a different piece to that performed in Round One and Round Two.
  • This will be one piece of the performer’s choice and should last no longer than 7 minutes.
  • The Organisers advise that any performance may be terminated if it runs any longer than 7 minutes.


  • Entrants selected to advance to the Grand Final may include any works previously performed in the Competition or choose new repertoire.
  • Grand Final repertoire should consist of at least two contrasting works.
  • Grand Final repertoire should last for a total of up to 12 minutes.
  • The Organisers advise that any performance may be terminated if it runs any longer than 12 minutes.

Test Piece Selection

Test Pieces 

The Organisers have decided that the repertoire that will be performed during Round Two of the BSME Young Musicians of the Gulf 2025 will be test pieces.

The selected piece for each instrument and vocal section can be found below.


Test Piece 2025

Alto Saxophone‘Grace’, 1st Movt, Light of Sothis; Amy Quate
Bass TromboneIntroduction and Allegro Spiritoso; Trombone and Piano; Jean Baptiste Senaillé
Bassoon‘Eo Rossa’, 3rd Movt, Five Sacred Trees; John Williams
Cello‘Lieder ohne Worte’, (Song without words) op. 109 in D major; Felix Mendelssohn
ClarinetElegie, BV 286; Furruccio Busoni
Cornet/Flugelhorn‘Rondo Burlesca’; Concertino for Flugel Horn and Brass Band; William Himes
Descant RecorderThe Kid from Venezuela; Peter Rose
Double Bass2nd movt; A Little Concerto for Double Bass; Jacob Largo
Eb Horn‘A Time for Peace’; Essence of time; Peter Graham
EuphoniumIntroduction and Allegro Spiritoso; Euphonium and Piano; Jean Baptiste Senaillé
FluteMoonlit Blue, Blaž Pucihar
French HornCanto Serioso for Horn and Piano; Carl Neilsen
GuitarUn Dia de Noviembre; Leo Brouwer
OboeElegia; Nino Rota
PianoNocturne, No.20 in C-Sharp Minor, Frédéric Chopin
Tenor SaxophoneLaguna Madre (With printed Cadenza); Amy Quate
Treble RecorderConcerto; RV 444, Largo; Vivaldi
TromboneAdam-Blues for Trombone and Piano; Joseph Horovitz
TrumpetBadinage; Eugène Bozza
TubaConcerto for Tuba; Andante Sostenuto; Alexander Arutiunian
Tuned Percussion‘Asturias’; Suite Española; Isaac Albéniz
Untuned PercussionUp Sticks; Clive Malabar
Viola1st Movt; Märchenbilder, Op. 113; Robert Schumann
Violin1st Movt; Sonata in E Minor, K. 304; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
VocalChanson d'Avril; Georges Bizet



Ensemble Criteria

Ensemble Criteria

Repertoire must reflect the spirit and merit of the event.

For this reason, all instruments being played in an Ensemble should be acoustic.

For example, a Jazz Ensemble requires amplified or electronic instruments, then a maximum of two will be accepted (please inform the organisers beforehand).

Ensemble performances which utilise improvisation are required to be supported with an explanation of the stimulus for that improvisation.

  • The Small Ensemble category does not include Rock or Pop Bands.
  • Each ensemble performance should last no longer than 8 minutes. *This should be 1 piece only.
*Please note - The Organisers advise that any performance may be terminated if it runs any longer than 8 minutes.

If participating schools wish to enter more than one Vocal Ensemble they must ensure that no more than 3 students are the same in each Vocal Ensemble.

*Please note that any performance entries that require the use of 2 pianos will not be accepted.

The format of the Ensemble competition will be as follows:

 Initial RoundSemi FinalFinal
Small EnsembleAll Entrants2 Ensembles1 Ensemble
Large EnsembleAll Entrants2 Ensembles1 Ensemble
Small Vocal EnsembleAll Entrants2 Ensembles1 Ensemble
Large Vocal EnsembleAll Entrants2 Ensembles1 Ensemble

Those Ensembles selected to advance to the Final will be the winners of their Ensemble category.

In the Final, they will compete to win the Overall Ensemble Award in the competition.

Ensemble Category

Ensemble Entries

The Ensemble category consists of 4 individual categories:

Small Ensemble

  • Up to 9 performers , plus a student conductor and/or an accompanist.

Large Ensemble

  • 10 or more performers plus a student/adult conductor (if required).

Small Vocal Ensemble

  • Between 2 and 9 singers, plus a student conductor and/or an accompanist.
*Please note if there are 4 entries or less, then the Small Vocal Ensembles will be judged in the Small Ensemble category.

Large Vocal Ensemble

  • 10 or more singers plus a piano accompanist and conductor (student or adult).
*Please note if an ensemble includes both vocalists and instrumentalists, they will compete in this category.
Composition Category

Composition Entries

  • Entrants are required to submit one piece of original music that they have composed in any style (minimum duration 2 minutes).
  • Entrants are required to be enrolled in either the Soloist or Ensemble Category. Entrants to submit their work to the Organisers no later than Thursday 9th January 2024.
​​​​​​​*Please note - The submission should include both an audio recording and PDF of either a notated score or a detailed lead sheet in the case of DAW, realised compositions.

Compositions will be judged on:

  • Technical control of the elements
  • Development of ideas within a clear structural framework
  • Creative and imaginative use of musical ideas as well as a sense of style and fluency

Entrants may also wish to include a detailed preface or brief, outlining their intentions, clarifying any directions within their score.



  • Young Musician of the Gulf 2025 Winner (Trophy and Shield)
  • Young Musician of the Gulf 2025 Runner Up
  • Knights Bequest (Most Promising Musician under 15 years of age)
  • Young Musician of the Gulf Overall Ensemble Winner 2025
  • Large Ensemble Award
  • Small Ensemble Award
  • Large Vocal Ensemble Award
  • Small Vocal Ensemble Award
  • Finalist Award
  • Piano Award
  • Brass Award
  • Woodwind Award
  • Bowed String Award
  • Plucked String Award
  • Female Vocalist
  • Male Vocalist
  • Percussion Award
  • Composition Award
  • Owerkowicz Bequest (Best Bahrain Based Musician)





Contact Us

Contact Number: +971 2 2040200 Music Department Ext 435

Email: [email protected]