The fiercely anticipated Senior Solo Competition took place at the beginning of November and it was a complete pleasure to welcome educationalist, composer, teacher and author, Paul Harris to adjudicate this year’s competition. With a range of music from the Baroque to contemporary across a breath of disciplines including bassoon, voice, flute, violin and piano, this was a wonderful evening of music showcasing the strongest musicians of the school. Dilan opened the programme with a virtuosic performance of Doppler’s ‘Fantasie Pastoral Hongroise’ before Anson followed with a thrilling performance of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata Fantasia’. The mood changed with Ed singing from Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ whilst the somewhat quirky Trumpet Concertino by Larsson was performed stylishly by Lachlan. The strength of the violin section of the school was showcased by Nicholas and Branden who performed Kabalesky and Sarasate with aplomb respectively. Louis showed his proficiency on the bassoon with the demanding ‘Introduction and Polonaise’ by Jacobi before Sammy’s clear diction and immaculate intonation was evident in the Handel aria ‘Honour and Arms’ from ‘Harapha’. Thomas and Benjamin performed very technically demanding music by Chopin and Khachaturian with great control before Ryan concluded the programme with a polished, musical and nuanced performance of the ‘Allegro Molto Appassionato’ from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor.

Paul Harris commented on the dedication to the interpretation and delivery of the music performed throughout the evening alongside praising the technical demands evident in each performance. As ever with such an evening competition of the music, there were confirmed winners and Paul praised Branden and Anson with highly commended performances. Third place was awarded to Ben whilst Louis was placed second however it would be Ryan, showcasing both his technical capacity and musicianship in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto who was awarded first place in this year’s competition.

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