AN annual search for gifted musicians is underway.

The James Etherington Award for 2017 has been launched by the Rotary Club of Chester-le-Street, with awards of up to £350 available for talented County Durham musicians.

The competition is run in conjunction with the James Etherington Music Trust, set up in 1978 to commemorate the local singer who sang in many West End shows.

Young musicians who live in or attend school in the DH postal code area, and who wish to further their playing or singing, can apply.

The first prize is £350, with £200 going to the runner up.

The competition will be held in Chester-le-Street Methodist Church on Saturday, April 29 at 7 pm and is open to the public.

Applications are available from Rachel Orr at