On Wednesday 19th November the Merriman Music School resounded to the tones of a dozen wind and brass players accompanied by Dr Marie Ward and Richard Saxel. Six of these went through to the March final of the Helen Wareham Competition and the other six will be mentioned in the fuller review in the next ‘Cranleighan’ magazine.

Tim Ayling was in both top threes, firstly in a recorder piece by Walter Bergmann with tricky rhythms balanced byHWPW-7046 a bird-song-like improvisatory section. He also played the arresting first movement of Strauss’s 1st Horn Concerto fearlessly. Another horn finalist will be Chris Paton, who played Glazunov with impeccable tuning, and he will be joined by trumpeter Noah Frett, who brought a relaxed vibe to Garson’s Jazz Suite. Equally idiomatic was clarinettist George Wilkinson who brought home the bacon in ‘Danish Blues’ by Lyons and Fayruz Megdiche added the oboe to the mix with a consummately accomplished rendering of the ‘Introduction and Polonaise’ by the Parisian composer Adolphe Deslandres. March 13th: put that date in your diaries!

Peter Longshaw