Seventeen musicians performed in our Young Musician Competition this year. The evening started with nine performances in the Junior age category, which included students from year 7 to 9. The pieces chosen varied from the energetic song, Figure It Out by Royal Blood, skilfully played by Dom Brown, to the more serene Xiong Mao by Li Yinghai, expressively played by Andrew Manson. The Senior musicians followed, showcasing the talents of students in years 10 and 11. Again, the pieces played showed the variety and flair. We heard performances such as Rondeau from Mozart’s Horn Concerto in Eb, emotively played by Angus Champion and La Villa Strangiato by Rush which showcased a wide range of guitar techniques from Harry Ballard.
Our three judges, Tim Duffin (local guitarist and bassist), Mr L Hamshaw-Hart (Assistant Headteacher) and Mr J Clifton (IT Support and BGS Showcase Organiser), began the evening by explaining how excited and pleased they were to judge the event. However, after hearing the performances, their opinions changed as the judging was so difficult and close. After much deliberation, the results were announced as follows:
Winner: Isaac Binnington (violin – Concerto No. 5 in D Major, 1st Movement by F Seitz)
Runners Up: Nic Clark (trombone – La Cumparsita by Matos Rodriguez), William Reed (piano – Halo 3, Never Forget by Martin O’Donnell)
Winner: Milton Ashbridge (bass guitar – Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder
Runners Up: Charles Webster (acoustic guitar – Explosions in the Sky by Charles Webster), George Brown (electric guitar and piano – New Born by Muse)
The overall winner, described by Mr Hamshaw-Hart as “a musician who would not be out of place in Stevie Wonder’s band”, and by Tim Duffin as “a bassist who could make a living in the future as a session musician, playing in recording studios across the country” was Milton Ashbridge. He was presented with the shield, before performing to close the concert.