Entertainment / Local boy wins ‘most promising accordionist’ accolade

A YOUNG local musician has been named the most promising under-16 accordionist in Scotland after winning the Bill Wilkie Memorial Trophy at the Perth Accordion & Fiddle Festival.

Ten year old Ryan Johnson, from Vidlin, also came first in the 10 and under age group, as well as in the under-12 traditional accordion solo competitions. He was second in the dance music event.


Mum Tori Johnson said Ryan has been playing the accordion since he was five.

“Ryan works really hard and practices every day, and we couldn’t be prouder of him,” she said.

“Ryan would like to say – I enjoy traditional music, and really enjoyed playing with my cousin for the dance music section. That’s the first time I’ve entered a competition with someone else.

“My teacher Michael Philip is funny and lets me choose my music which I like. I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved.”


The 72nd festival was held virtually with winners announced on Saturday afternoon.

Other notable results for local musicians included Victoria Byrne-McCombie coming first in the girl’s section of the junior traditional accordion solo championship, second in the junior pipe music accordion solo and third in the junior musette accordion solo.

She was also second in the junior world music accordion solo.

Meanwhile Bruce Peebles came third in the senior pipe music accordion solo event. He also won the dance music competition ahead of Ryan Johnson.

In the fiddle section of the competition Kristie Williamson came first in the under-12 fiddle solo event, while Yelena Anderson and Maisie Henderson scooped first and second places in the all Scotland junior fiddle solo championship.

Meanwhile Maise Henderson won the junior slow air fiddle solo ahead of Holly Stephen, while Emma Leask came third in the senior section of the slow air fiddle solo.