Nine students put themselves forward to take part in our Concerto Competition, which took place on Sunday 15 January in the auspicious surroundings of Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM).
Arriving in the morning to rehearse with pianist Polina Gerasimenko, the students were seemingly unfazed by the prospect of performing on the same stage as ex-alumni such as Proms-creator Sir Henry Wood, conductor Sir Simon Rattle, and singer Katherine Jenkins.
Each student performed a movement from their chosen concerto in a bid to win the chance to perform the entire concerto with a professional orchestra at our Choral Society and Chamber Choir Concert in April. The runner-up will also perform their chosen movement.
The panel of judges was made up of industry professionals:
Professor Timothy Jones - Deputy Principal, Royal Academy of Music
Helen Sprott - Director of Music, Arts Council England
Kimon Daltas - Editor, Classical Music Magazine
Katy Ovens - Ex-Farnborough, former RAM student and winner of the Concerto Competition 2009-2010.
The audience, made up of parents, students and RAM supporters gave each student a rapturous applause after their performance, reflecting the overall high standard achieved.
Curriculum Manager for Music, Harry White commented, “The manner in which our students coped with the pressure of performing on such a stage in front of such a high profile panel was truly astonishing. The levels reached were amongst the highest we’ve ever seen and the whole day was a wonderful reflection of the students’ dedication and commitment.”
After all students had performed, the judges retired to the Patrons’ Room to confer. Returning to Duke’s Hall, head judge Timothy Jones thanked the students for all the hard work they put in to preparing for the day and was very complimentary about their performances. He then announced the winners – in reverse order! The runner-up Thomas Fletcher (second year, Saxophone) and the winner Thomas Hammond (second year, Oboe).
Impressed with the level of performance reached by the competitors, Kimon Daltas commented, “It was a pleasure and an honour to help judge this Concerto Competition. The College must be so proud of such wonderful, talented students.”
Tom Hammond said after the event, “It was a real privilege to perform in the magnificent setting of Duke's Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The standard of music at The College is extremely high and we were lucky to have the opportunity to perform a concerto to such a knowledgeable panel of judges and enthusiastic audience. Everybody played brilliantly so it was a lovely surprise when I won. Special thanks to all in the music department who provide us with such fantastic opportunities and especially to Polina for her skilful accompanying!”
Congratulations to all and we are really excited to hear their performances with a professional orchestra on Friday 7 April 2017 at The Church on The Heath, Elvetham Heath. Tickets can be booked in advance from here.