The Helen Wareham final provided a predictably thrilling evening with very high quality performances across the board, giving the adjudicator, Howard Ionascu, Director of the Junior Royal Academy of Music, a difficult task with the final decisions on winners.

Jonny Marsh, the brass winner, showed excellent control of his instrument, lovely lyrical shaping and great special effects in his Vintner piece.  Emma Grainger, woodwind winner, displayed a very wide palette of colours and moods in her ‘Peregi Verbunk’, with effortless passagework and a really well-paced cadenza. The keyboard prize went to Freddie Hawes for his very sensitively handled Chopin Nocturne and the string prize went to Deescha Chandrasma for her neatly articulated and intense ‘Requiebros’ by Cassado. Finally, a heartfelt  and commanding performance by Rosie Forster secured her the vocal prize with, ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ dat Man’. She sang with a sense of enjoyment and great feel for the style.

I am very much looking forward to hearing these wonderful performers again in the forthcoming Encore Concert on Friday 28th April, where they will be joined by  the Junior Competition winners and the winners of the CPS House Music Competition.