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Young MusicianS 2024

Young Musicians of the Year 2024

On Wednesday 25 April 2024 the Expressive Arts team put on Young Musician of the Year 2024, our annual competition aimed at pupils who are learning an instrument. It is a platform for our pupils to share their skills and the results of their hard work rehearsing in front of a live audience.

Although it is a competition, our pupils were hugely supportive of one another and there was a really great atmosphere, both before the competition in the ‘Green Room' as the pupils were performing to one another and during the event itself. These more intimate events are held in our main Drama room, which is a really good venue for both the performers and the audience.

As part of his welcome to parents, Mr Cook was delighted to introduce the judging panel for the evening: Headteacher Mr Clutterbuck, Music Teacher Miss Faux and our special guest Nigel Boateng. Nigel is a former pupil and former winner of the competition; he plays the piano and is also a member of the successful band TNT, who performed at the Phoenix Festival last summer. Nigel had participated in five of these school competitions and, reflecting on his time taking part in the competition, offered some advice to the pupils: he said that for him it wasn’t just about winning, what he really enjoyed about taking part in the competition was listening to all the other performers and being involved in the atmosphere.

There was a range of lovely performances during the evening, from Year 7 pupils just starting their journey of instrument learning, 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.

Will in Year 7 said ‘This was my first Young Musician competition and even though I didn’t win, it was an awesome experience. In order to prepare, I rehearsed my song every day 10 times before school.’

After the audience had been enthralled by all the performances, the judges left to debate who should win an award.

Whilst the judges were making their decisions, the Flute group entertained the audience, led by Jackie Mitchell, our flute teacher. Jackie is leaving us at the end of this year and has been in post, as our flute and clarinet teacher, for 18 years. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to both the teaching of our pupils and our extra-curricular events, Mr Cook presented her with a card and flowers. She will be sorely missed and very difficult to replace!

The judges returned to announce their decisions and made it clear to the audience that the judgements are never easy to make and the overall standard of the performance showed how talented our pupils are. However, they had made their decisions and the judges awarded the following pupils:

Key Stage 3 Young Musicians

Winner: The overall winner of the Key Stage 3 award was Megan (Year 8), who played a Chopin Nocturn beautifully on the piano.

Runners-up: Piers (Year 9), who performed a rock classic on the drums and Finley (Year 9), who played a great finger-style rockabilly track on the electric guitar.

Megan: 'I was very happy entering and winning Young Musician. I had spent a lot of time over the last few weeks rehearsing my piece and I was really pleased with how I performed it on the night. I also really enjoyed listening to everyone else play.'

Key Stage 4 Young Musicians

Winner: The overall Key Stage 4 winner was Eleena (Year 11), who played the most amazing flute piece that wowed both the judges and the audience.

Runners-up: George (Year 10) and Emily (Year 11), both of whom played classical guitar.

Eleena: 'I always enjoy having a goal to work towards. This competition was a large motivator. My piece coming together just days before, after working hard for months, was a relief. The other competitors played well and I am grateful to play alongside them.'

musicians of the year 2024

A final 'Congratulations!' to all the pupils who took part in the competition - the Expressive Arts team are very proud of what a talented bunch you all are.

'The Young Musician of the Year' evening was a treat to be part of. It was particularly great to see so many Key Stage 3 pupils performing and I feel sure that the future of the event is safe in their hands. I would also really like to congratulate our Year 11 pupils, as this was their last performance opportunity with us and I wish them well for their future studies and hope they will keep up their musical interests as an asset to their future adult life.'

Mr Cook, Music Teacher

Musicians of the year 2024