Young Musicians 2023
Young Musician of the Year 2023
Hot on the heels of the successful Young Singer of the Year competition held just before the Easter break, it was the turn of our Young Musician of the Year competition on Wednesday 19 April 2023. This is a platform for our pupils to showcase their musical talents and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
Although it is a competition, Deer Park pupils are hugely supportive of each other and there was a really great atmosphere, both before the competition in the ‘green room', as the pupils performed to one another, and during the event itself. Our main Drama room is a more intimate space and is a great venue for both the performers and their audience.
As part of his welcome to parents, Mr Cook reflected that this is roughly the 20th Young Musician competition he has been involved with since joining the school in 2000 and that this year's participants were continuing and contributing to a well-established tradition. Even during the pandemic our Expressive Arts team carried on with these events, using live-streaming technology.
Mr Cook was delighted to introduce the judging panel for the evening, comprising Headteacher, Mr Clutterbuck, Mr Reed, Miss Faux and our special guest Lauren Parrish. Lauren is a former pupil and former winner of the competition who plays the piano; she has finished studying the piano and is now plays for pleasure in amongst the rigors of studying 4 A levels. She said about being a judge: 'I was really excited and honoured to be invited back to help judge the Young Musician of the Year competition. The standard of the entries was phenomenal and I was blown away by the talent and enthusiasm. Judging was hard! Eleena really impressed me with her beautiful flute playing and Tom the drummer was amazing. Thank you for asking me!'
There was a range of lovely performances during the evening, from Year 7 pupils who have just started their journey of instrument learning, with this being their first public performance, through to some of our very experienced and accomplished Key Stage 4 pupils who have already completed their Grade 8 music exams on their chosen instrument. It was also nice to see that two pupils had entered both our Young Singer and Young Musician competitions this year.
After the audience had been entertained by all of our performers, the judges left the performance room to debate who was to receive an award. Due to the higher number of Key Stage 3 pupils, the judges awarded three runner-up awards and a winner in Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 4 there were two runner-up awards and an overall winner.
The judgements are never easy to make and the overall standard of the performance showed how talented our pupils are.
Key Stage 3 Young Musicians
Winner: The overall winner of the Key Stage 3 award was Tom (Year 8), who played the drums.
Runners-up: Megan and Ella (both Year 7), who both played the piano and Charlotte (Year 8), who played the cornet.
Tom 'I’m glad I won, it was worth the practice I put into the song. It was a very high standard and a tough competition.'
Key Stage 4 Young Musicians
Winner: The overall Key Stage 4 winner was Eleena (Year 10), who played the flute.
Runners-up: Nigel (Year 11), a previous winner of the competition, who played the piano and Herbie (Year 11) who played the violin.
Eleena: 'I was nervous before my performance because there were a lot of people in the audience, also I know my piece was challenging to play as I will be playing it for my Grade 8 exam soon. I was elated to win as there were lots of other excellent performers.'
The evening closed with Mr Clutterbuck thanking the pupils for their amazing skills and drawing on his love of philosophy. He talked to them about how their manipulation of atoms and the air particles had created music that had had a profound impact on the shared experience that the audience had that evening.
Ella, one of the Key Stage 3 runners-up said: 'It was a hard competition because I was really nervous at first but once I started playing I was not nervous any more. It was really worth all the practice and when I got runner-up it was a really good feeling.'
We put on these events as we really value the experience it gives our pupils of playing in front of an audience. Although it can be daunting for the performers, in reality everyone is really supportive in their appreciation of the talent we have at Deer Park. I am always really impressed by the variety of instruments and styles we hear at these events and how their hard work shines through in their performances.
Well done to the winners, runners-up and every pupil who put themselves forward for this event. For the Year 11 pupils, thank you for all of your contributions over your years at Deer Park. For everyone else, see you again next time!
Mr Cook, Expressive Arts Faculty