BRASS AND PAT DIXON JUNIOR WOODWIND COMPETITION 2023

Two of our annual music competitions took place on the evening of Friday 24th February, the brass competition for both Junior and…

Two of our annual music competitions took place on the evening of Friday 24th February, the brass competition for both Junior and Senior students, and the Junior category of the Pat Dixon Woodwind Competition. Both were packed with high quality and entertaining performances and the sizeable audience very much enjoyed the event.

The brass competition was fiercely contested and featured some outstanding playing. It was great to hear two Fourth Form students compete. James W. and Nicholas L. should both be very proud of their first forays into competition at the Senior School with confident and well-prepared performances of Anderson’s ‘A Trumpeter’s Lullaby’ and John Williams’ famous ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ respectively. Also of note was Ollie M.’s rendition of ‘Saturday’s Child’ by Lamb. This showed great musical maturity with a rich sound, and well-judged phrasing. In the Junior category the two stand out performers were trumpeter Rafe B. and trombonist Patrick A. Both were incredibly well prepared and delivered two very demanding pieces of music. Rafe’s performance of Copland’s ‘Quiet City’, was technically excellent and he should be applauded for taking on a piece of this difficulty level. Patrick A.’s musicianship however turned out to be the deciding factor as his flawless and arrestingly atmospheric playing of Horowitz’s ‘Adam Blues’ was captivating from beginning to end. Felix W. took the prize in the Senior category with a well prepared and powerful performance of ‘Conversation for Cornet’ by Grundman.

The Pat Dixon Junior Woodwind Competition formed the second half of the evening’s entertainment and the high quality of music making continued unabated. Every performance was well prepared and confidently delivered. Particular highlights were Raeph A.’s characterful performance of Gounod’s ‘Funeral March of a Marionette’ on bassoon, Alice B.’s ultra-confident and authoritative rendition of Pintos’ ‘Balada Nocturna’ for alto saxophone and Zoe G.’s assured musical playing of Faure’s ‘Morceau de Concours’ on flute. The deserved winner, though, was clarinettist Charlie M. He not only took on the technically challenging ‘Intermezzo No. 3’ by Stanford but delivered it musically with great authority and near total accuracy. Congratulations to all the performers in both competitions and many thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

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