The brass section of the Helen Wareham competition was held in the Merriman Music School on Wednesday 23rd November. The junior performance saw third and second prize going to trumpeters Ben Mills and Noah Frett, who played sonata movements by Hook and Loeillet. The first prize went to Tim Ayling, for a confident rendition of the virtuoso horn piece ‘Hunter’s Moon’ composed by Gilbert Vintner (originally for horn and orchestra) when he was based in Torquay during World War Two.

Tim’s playing was possibly the finest of the whole evening, though another horn player, Peter Westcott, came close to mastering a very challenging sonata by Cherubini. With IVth Former Ed Walshe’s bell-like tone burnishing Saint Saёns’s ‘Morceau de Concert’ the French horn (not to mention the focused tone of Eva Solt) is going to be in safe hands at Cranleigh for some years to come.

In the Senior performance three players went through to next term’s final: trumpeter Henry Harrod, and trombonists Alex Curtis and Millie Crane. Millie ended a splendid evening of music with the Fantasy by Curnow, a familiar staple of this competition and a poignantly effective piece in such sensitive hands.

A full review will appear in the 2012 ‘Cranleighan’ magazine.