Musicians Hit Right Note at Annual Music Competitions
Last term, we saw the culmination of the inaugural Musician of the Year competition with a fantastic concert in the school Chapel. With all five year groups and all seven boarding houses represented in either the Junior or Senior category, it came down to an external adjudicator to decide who should be declared the winner.
This year’s competition was overseen by Cardiff-born conductor, Tomos Watkins. Tomos is a graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he gained an MA in Choral Conducting. He is also Director of Music at the University Church in Cardiff, and Musical Director of the chamber choirs, The Collegium Singers and A Handful of Singers.
There were 74 entrants for the 2019 Musician of the Year. Every style and genre was represented, from western classical to jazz, musical theatre to heavy rock, and even a touch of dance. It was especially encouraging to see first-time performers alongside our singing veterans.
In the junior section, our pupils performed a variety of pieces, including a rendition of Les Misérables’ I Dreamed a Dream on the French horn.
In this class category, Fifth Form pupil Oliver Mathew scooped the first prize with his performance of Cecile Chaminade’s Flute Concertino in D Major. Third Form pupil Arjon Ashok was also praised for his rendition of Claude Debussy’s La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin. He was awarded Highly Commended.
The senior section of the competition saw renderings of some more classical pieces. Upper Sixth pupil Will Smale was crowned the winner of this category following an outstanding performance of Bring Him Home from Les Misérables, while Lower Sixth pupil Oliver Biggs was awarded Highly Commended for his performance of Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne KK IVa No. 16.
Head of Academic Music, Karen Paul, said: “All twelve musicians excelled themselves with professional, exciting and emotional performances, making it a tough decision to choose the eventual winners. In addition to the superb evening of music, it was also great to see so many pupils in the audience showing their support.”
Meanwhile, The House Ensemble was a more informal affair, with each house performing with an ensemble of at least three performers, including both junior and senior pupils.
A wonderful lunchtime concert, in which every house rose to the occasion, displayed well-rehearsed and emotional performances. The winning song, Say Something by A Great Big World was performed by Meynell.
And finally, the House Singing competition, our biggest and loudest part of our music festival, rounded off the Lent Term.
The annual competition required each house to pick a song on a given theme. This year’s was girl/boy bands, with a set of of strict ‘rules’ to follow; all members of the house must perform with a solo section, a section with harmony, some choreography and all must be singing together for at least one section.
This year our guest judge was vocal and performance coach Kat Stevens, who was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of every group. Following the riot of colour, costume, choreography and music, Bishop Fox were crowned the winners with their performance of Glad You Came by The Wanted, narrowly beating Meynell with I Want You Back by The Jackson 5.
Published on: Saturday, April 6, 2019