24 March 2013 - Regional Final of Rotary Young Musician enthralls Amersham audience

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17 young musicians held the audience of teachers, parents and Rotarians spell bound.

At Dr Challoners High School this afternoon, the appalling weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the participants who all gave excellent performances.

This Regional Final saw the winners and runners-up from Finals held in four Rotary Districts in the South East competing for places in the National Finals at the Longfield Academy in Kent on May 5th.

Instrumental

Eight young instrumentalists (two pianists, two cellists, a violinist, a flautist, a clarinetist and a saxophonist) competed for the winning place.

The winner was George Harliono-Evans, a 12-year-old pianist who played Estampes i.Pagodes by Debussy, Etude No.3 by Paganini and La Campanella by Franz Liszt. George was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Harlow in District 1240.

The runner up was John Tothill, a clarinetist, who played Solo de Concours by A. Messager and Furioso from the Clarinet Sonata by M. Arnold. John was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Southend-on-Sea, also in District 1240.

Vocal

All seven vocalists performed to a very high standard, singing a range of arias and songs.

The winner was Robert Gathercole, who performed one of his own compositions, When I Close My Eyes, which was very well received. He also performed Pretty Woman (Sweeney Todd) by Stephen Sondheim and Betrayed (Producers) by Mel Brooks. Robert was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Colchester, again in District 1240.

The runner up was Isobel Leventhorpe who was sponsored by the Rotary Club of South Cambridge in District 1080. Isobel sang Ensurientes by Bach, The Sky above the Roof by Vaughan Williams and Someone Like you by Frank Wildhorn.

The adjudicators praised each performer, and provided each musician with positive feedback. After the results had been announced, the judges spoke to the musicians individually, offering professional musical advice.

The adjudicators were Mark Armstrong who is Professor of Jazz at the Royal College of Music, Ian Hooker who has gained great respect and appreciation for his work with young musicians in Buckinghamshire, and Richard Sisson who is Composer and arranger pianist in Association with Symphonia Academica.

This was a truly wonderful event, leaving those present feeling that young people are great!

Report by Iola Samuels

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