THE LAST FEW WEEKS HAVE SEEN A WEALTH OF EXCITING MUSICAL EVENTS, WITH THE INSTRUMENTALIST AND SINGER OF THE YEAR COMPETITIONS IN CONSECUTIVE WEEKS, FOLLOWING ON FROM A WONDERFUL CONCERT FOR HARPS, STRINGS AND PERCUSSION, NOT TO MENTION PUPIL SUCCESS AT THE URDD NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD
Claire Jones, Former Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, was our special guest on Friday 9th March along with her husband, Chris Marshall, a West End musician, percussionist and composer. Claire performed alongside her pupil, Anna Phillips (recent winner of a Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London) in a duet for two harps and string orchestra, the mesmerising Flower Duet from Lakmé by Delibes. Both harpists also played solos, accompanied by the strings under the direction of Tim Cronin and with all music arranged by Chris Marshall.
The full string orchestra also performed the famous Adagio in G minor for Organ and Strings by Remo Giazotto (after Tomaso Albinoni), with Jonathan Cooper on the Organ. For our senior musicians to share the stage with such consummate professionals was a great privilege.
The annual competitions to find winning performances from instrumentalists and singers took place on two Mondays in March. The Instrumentalist of the Year Competition, generously supported by Old Breconian, W. Hugh Phillips JP, FCOptom, took the form of an Intermediate round in the afternoon and an advanced round in the evening, with the latter event adjudicated by Kevin Price, Head of Music Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Louis Hayes (trumpet) was the winner in the afternoon, with Zoe Solomon (piano) winning the evening event.
The Singer of the Year Competition, adjudicated by Stewart Smith O.B., former Director of Music at Abbey Gate College in Chester, was held in the glorious and supportive acoustic of the Chapel, and was sponsored by Creative Risk Solutions. The Intermediate round was won by Beatrice Purvis (Alway House) and the Advanced round was won by Cai Williams (School House).
Several Christ College musicians have also had success at the recent county rounds of the Brecon & Radnorshire Urdd National Eisteddfod.In St Nicholas House, Tomos and Alaw Price won 1st Prize for their Singing Duet and are now through to the National Finals, to be held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth at the end of May. Alaw also received the 1st prize in the Under 11’s Harp Solo round. Both siblings have also been selected to perform in the Urdd Youth Show held on the main stage (a 1,800 seat pavilion) on 29 May at 8pm. These shows are extremely popular and are televised by S4C. Needless to say, they are very excited about this!
The Senior String Quartet (Anna Phillips, Erica Morgan, Carys Cronin, Hannah Mathias) also represented Christ College at the county rounds and have also made it through to the Finals. They had some very favourable comments from the adjudicators and are looking forward to competing against some of the finest young musicians in Wales.
Carys, a Music Scholar in Year 12, has also been awarded a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales for the second year in a row.
Carys is a talented viola player, and performs in several ensembles and orchestras, including the South Powys Youth Orchestra. Carys will spend two weeks with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales (the ‘NASH’) over the summer, performing in their residential course as well as in other venues across Wales. She has also just spent a day with the National Orchestra of Wales in a one-day workshop, directed by Rachel Podger. Many congratulations to Carys on reaching this distinguished level of musical performance!
Many congratulations to all of our wonderful musicians!
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