The best of our solo musicians took to Great School last week to compete in the hotly contested Young Musician of the Year event – the finale of this year’s Music Competition.
There were eight performers from Year 9 to Year 13, all of whom gave excellent, and very polished, performances on piano, cello, trumpet, clarinet, drums, marimba and harp, as well as singing. These musicians were those who had won or been highly commended in the advanced category of the annual Music Competition.
Mrs Steensma, Acting Director of Music, said to the audience and performers: “The Young Musician of the Year concert is always a real treat as we are able to showcase some remarkably talented musicians. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all of our musicians here at Ipswich School. To reach this standard on an instrument takes bucket loads of a number of things, not least passion, perseverance and practice. I know that I speak for all the staff when I say how proud we are of you all. Your achievements musically are outstanding and your dedication and obvious enjoyment are cause for great celebration.”
The adjudicator, Old Ipswichian and internationally renowned composer and conductor Ben Parry said it had been a wonderful evening, and that it was great to see music in such great shape at Ipswich School: “There is a vibrant music scene here and I have been so happy to be part of it this evening. What we’ve heard tonight sets the musical standard very high indeed.”
Congratulations to all the finalists who were: Edward Baines, piano; Rosie Boore, singing; Sebastian Williams, cello; Emily Cook, singing; Oliver Pigram, clarinet; Fred Double, percussion; Nadia Mason, harp and Alfie Buckley, trumpet. And many thanks to Ben Parry for adjudicating and to Mr Leach and Mrs Williams for accompanying the musicians.
Well done to Nadia Mason from Year 13, who was announced as Young Musician of the Year 2019 for her performance on the harp. The Occasional asked Nadia to explain more about her musical life.
Q. How did you feel when you were announced as the winner?
A. Totally shocked. It was a very close run thing and as the instruments are so different it isn’t easy to call.
Q. How did you choose the pieces you played?
A. I chose the Baroque Flamenco by Deborah Henson Conant because I love how the fiery Spanish rhythms are intermingled with the classic theme that you normally expect from the harp. It’s so different from most music I normally play, and uses the harp as if it was just a large guitar. I then chose La Source by Hassleman to provide a contrast in order to show everyone how versatile the harp can be.
Q. What did you enjoy most about the competition?
A. The thing I like most about the competition is getting to hear people perform solo pieces who I don’t normally get the opportunity to hear. For example, listening to others in the final who always perform in the heats on a different night to me.
Q. What piece of advice would you give to anyone entering next year’s competition?
A. Pick pieces that you enjoy playing! It’s much more enjoyable performing (and practising!) pieces of music that you actually like to play rather than those you don’t.
Q. What piece of music would you take to a desert island with you?
A. Probably Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 in G major.
Q. What musical instrument (that you don’t already play) would you most like to learn, and why?
A. The flute. It would be much easier to transport!