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Evening Celebrates Young Musicians

Thursday, 01 March 2012

This year's Boys' Division Young Musician of the Year evening saw the culmination of a month of superb music making.  On the night, the Junior and Senior winners of seven musical categories - brass, guitar, piano, percussion, strings, wind and woodwind - battled it out for the overall award of Young Musician of the Year.  All the 14 finalists had already overcome stiff competition to win their individual instrument category award and, as such, took a trophy home with them at the end of the night. 

The competition had begun back in January when, for almost two weeks, class music lessons and lunchtimes were given over to the heats.  Members of the Music Department judged hundreds of entries and from each of the seven instrumental categories, 12 performers (6 Junior and 6 Senior) were chosen, which meant that there were 84 semi-finalists. A whole day in February was devoted to the semi-final and Mr Rob Wilding, the adjudicator, had the unenviable task of choosing one junior and one senior finalist from each of the categories. 

Mr Wilding also judged the final, which saw Toby Cowling, Year 12, pick up the award for Senior Musician of the Year for his playing of the marimba in the percussion category and Year 9 pupil Daniel Anderson win the Junior Young Musician of the Year award for his Grade 8 piece on the recorder.  

Reflecting on his performance, Toby said: "I was more nervous than I thought I would be and although they say nerves are meant to make you play better, I did not find this the case.  I was much more relaxed when I played later in the evening, knowing that I had won." 

Daniel, who also won the award in Year 7, said: "I was less bothered by nerves, largely because I did not think I was going to win.  I think by being relaxed and just playing I performed all the better." 

The two overall winners each received £100 in prize money as well as a winning trophy and having their names engraved on the Young Musician of the Year plaques which are on permanent display in the Music Department. 

Two Young Composer of the Year awards were also made on the evening.  The awards recognise and celebrate pupils' compositional skills.  As ever, the quality and diversity was very high, so much so that for the very first time runners-up prizes were also awarded.  The Junior Composer of the Year award went to Hassaan Hussain, with George Morgan and Adam Critchlow picking up runners-up prizes.  The Senior Composer of the Year was Jonathan Kent from Year 12.  The boys all performed on the night and took away with them cash prizes and trophies.  A Most Promising Performer award was given to Year 8 pupil Aman Kumar, who did not quite make it to the final but had performed outstandingly in the semi-final. 

Mr Stephen Martin, Director of Music in the Boys' Division, concluded an inspiring evening by saying: "Sincere thanks are due to our adjudicator, Mr Rob Wilding, for his intelligent and insightful adjudication comments both tonight and throughout this event.  Feedback to every pupil has been very positive and criticism constructive.  Our thanks also go to Mrs Cathy Hall-Smith, and our other accompanists.  Finally, a big thank you to all the boys and their individual music teachers for their hard work.  They have provided us with a wealth of wonderful music over the last month."

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The Boys' Division Young Musicians of the Year 2012 - click on the photo to enlarge it