Winners’ concert showcases Blue Coat’s musical talent
Considering that the Biennial Music Festival Winners’ Concert programme of 22 items was the distillation of 90-odd individual entries over a two-day period, it’s astonishing that the selected musicians – some performing on more than one instrument across the categories – were still capable of turning in a decent (let alone prizewinning) performance for the enjoyment of their loyal followers. But they were, and they did.
The programme was comprised of six categories: Strings, Voice, Brass, Percussion, Keyboard, Woodwind, and Duets and Ensembles.
Necessarily put together with some haste, the programme did not include the title or composer of each item and only a few artistes remembered to say what they were about to play, but amongst the evening’s very enjoyable performances were those of Alex Turvey in Year 11 on trombone who played with great panache, veering joyously between thunderous blasts and extraordinary delicacy of tone. Also Alex Gray in Year 13 on double bass, for such clear affinity with his instrument, including bowing with verve, then using very fine pizzicato. As always, Year 13 violinist David Fifield’s playing was nothing less than captivating; his exquisite tuning, dynamics, and control were evident in both the Zigeunerweisen solo, and The Piano Trio with Cameron Wright (Year 13) and Charlie Rothwell (Year 10). Ed Bindoff in Year 9, oboe, and Jude Lancaster in Year 8, who played Poirot’s theme on saxophone, were an absolute delight.
The Junior trophy was awarded to Freddie Carter Shaw in Year 8 for his thrilling trumpet playing, and the Intermediate to Freddie Mitchell in Year 12, on piano, whose beautiful playing of a piece in the classical/Romantic style completely smote my heart. Following further deliberation by festival adjudicator Gwyn Parry-Jones, the Senior trophy was awarded – deservedly – in equal part to Cameron Wright (piano and saxophone) and Charlie Rothwell (saxophone and cello), whose musicianship, especially together with David Fifield, blew our socks off.
Mrs Foulis Brown, Receptionist