A young musician is celebrating, after a carol she penned for her dad last Christmas landed her a top industry accolade.
Despite only starting to compose music in 2015, talented Rachel Groves, 18, beat hundreds with her festive tribute Joy.
As winner of the Times Christmas Carol competition, the former pupil of Aberdeen’s Albyn School will now get to see her work performed by the Edinburgh Bach Choir at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea on December 16.
But before then she will be premiering her winning song with the Aberdeen Orpheus Choir at their annual carol concert in Craigiebuckler Church on Friday.
Rachel, from Banchory, who plays the harp and flute, says she never imagined the song would do so well.
She said: “My dad isn’t a material person and isn’t that interested in presents.
“But we are quite a musical family, so I decided to write him a carol as a gift instead.
“I then performed it for him on Christmas Day.
“I played the flute, mum played the piano and my brother and dad sang the lyrics.
“I only really spent about a day writing it, and that was in the run-up to Christmas.”
A member of the Aberdeen Orpheus Choir, who Rachel performs with, heard her original song and suggested she enter the competition.
Rachel said: “I just thought I’d give it a go.
“So when I found out I had won I was completely shocked.
“My dad was quite touched when I told him the song I had composed for him had won the competition.”
Rachel, who has recently moved to Edinburgh for a gap year, only started composing after attending the week-long Sound and Music Summer School at the Purcell School in Watford.
She said: “I had planned to go sooner but we were away, but when I finally did get to go to the summer school I really enjoyed it.”
Currently based at the Abbeyhill Baptist Church in Edinburgh where she is composing and teaching, Rachel is excited to see her song performed on the big stage for the first time.
She said: “It will be a surreal moment, but I can’t wait.
“I’m also performing at the Grampian Hospitals Christmas carol concert this year.”
Rachel, who is hoping to study music at Edinburgh University one day, says: “I really don’t know what I want to do in terms of a career yet, whether it would involve composing or playing. But I would love for it to involve music.”