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Thursday, 06 March 2014
Proud parents and family gathered in the Boys’ Great Hall to celebrate the winners of this year’s Young Musician Awards. Each of the performing boys was already a winner in his category, a great achievement considering that the competition had initially involved hundreds of boys across all age groups.
The past month had seen heat after heat and the whittling down of contestants to a semi-final of 12 boys (six Junior and six Senior) in each of 7 categories: brass, piano, strings, vocal, woodwind, guitar and percussion. The semi-final then took place over the course of a single day and Ms Karen Humphreys (Head of Junior Royal Northern College of Music) had the unenviable task of adjudicating and picking a junior and senior finalist from each of the seven categories. However, in the Senior Percussion class she awarded two winners – one for Tuned Percussion and one for Drum Kit. This provided 15 category winners for the Awards evening. Ms Humphreys was then charged with the responsibility of choosing an overall junior and senior Young Musician of the Year Award.
Each boy played masterfully and they called upon a wide range of styles and genres of music from Mozart to Elton John to demonstrate their prowess on their chosen instrument. Guests enjoyed wine and nibbles and listening to Year 9 band The Parallel Oreos whilst Ms Humphreys, assisted by Mr Forgrieve, sweated over the final result.
Summing up her thoughts, adjudicator Ms Humphreys said: “I have enjoyed every minute of tonight. It has been a tremendous evening of music-making. It is great that boys are given this opportunity to perform in front of a large audience, which is not easy. My job has been very difficult and I would like to commend all the musicians; there has been a wonderful variety of playing and the boys have shown commitment, energy, technique, rhythm and expression. No-one has hidden behind their instrument, they have played confidently and have been prepared to take risks. For his poise, effective colouring, courage and for having the audience in the palm of his hand, I award this year’s Junior Young Musician Award to Adam Whitmore for his singing. In the Senior section, the award goes to Cameron Jones-Humphrey for his drumming which has been bold, complex and agile.”
Both the Junior and Senior Young Musicians took away a cash prize for £100 as well as a winner’s trophy and were entitled to have their names engraved on the Young Musician of the Year Plaques which are on permanent display in the Music Department. Each of the 15 boys, as a category winner, also took a trophy away.
This year’s Most Promising Performer award, which recognises an outstanding performer in the Semi-Final who just missed out on the Final, went to Oliver Shaw from Year 7, who played piano. There were also awards for George Morgan who was this year’s Junior Composer of the Year Winner and for Arran Ireland who won the Senior Composer of the Year award. Both played guitar pieces that they had composed.
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