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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
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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