Taunton Young Musician Report 2008-09
Taunton Young Musician Results 2008-9
The audience at Queen’s Hall on Sunday 25th January enjoyed a real treat, given by seven talented youngsters in the 3rd Taunton Young Musician of the Year competition. The Mayor of Taunton presented the prizes including the splendid glass trophy, donated by Shakspeare Glass. Two pianists, won the top two prizes of £200 and £100; first was Chris Ma, studying at Taunton School, who presented his classical programme with confidence, ending on a lighter note with Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm, and second was Stephanie Cheung, from Queens College, whose fingers flew over the keys with brilliant fluidity, whether it was Bach or Shostakovich. The third prize of £50 went to saxophonist Tom Harris, also from Queens, who not only performed the conventional jazz and classic pieces but an extraordinary poetic eastern Improvisations piece by Ryo Noda.
TYM 2008-9 Winner Chris Ma, runners up Stephanie Cheung (2nd) and Tom Harris (3rd)
The four runners-up received well-deserved token prizes; Daisy Newberry (Heathfield School) whose Czardas on her violin got feet tapping; Felicity Kerr, (Richard Huish) mezzo soprano, whose Che Faro senza Euridice showed a richly evolving voice; and the very talented Hedges brothers (Queens) – Jonathan who gave us a scintillating recital on the flute, finishing with the lively Tin Roof Blues, and 12 year old Christopher who enchanted the audience, particularly with Orientale by Cui.
The competition was assessed by three distinguished adjudicators; Anthony Negus, conductor of W.N.O, Caroline Diffley, teacher and examiner and Robert Latham, likewise teacher and examiner and Director of Bristol Schools Chamber Choir. They thanked the accompanists and organiser of the competition Mavis Kettlewell plus her helpers and sponsors, particularly Queen’s College for the use of the hall and piano.
They congratulated all the performers on their high standards and advised the young musicians not to be discouraged by setbacks in the cut-throat competition world; they should aim to bring enthusiasm and freshness to each performance (pointing out that the style of verbal presentation of their music mattered in the overall relationship with the audience and that this had been taken into account). All these young players had good basic skills, so the winners were the ones who brought in that little extra quality into their performance on the day.
The concert had begun with a presentation of flowers to Miss Margaret Way, Vice President of the Taunton & Music & Drama Festival, to congratulate her on the award of M.B.E for ‘voluntary service to speech and drama in the county town’.
The Mayor Tim Slattery brought the afternoon to a close, pointing out that there is so much criticism of young people for negative behaviour but here was an event, which gave all the evidence to the contrary. He hoped the sponsors would continue to support such an excellent competition. The sponsors are Taunton Deane Borough Council; AH Gadd Ltd; Energy Solutions; Taunton & Somerset Music & Drama Festival; Queens College; Taunton School; Shakspeare Glass and the Rotary Clubs of Taunton and Taunton Vale.
By Laurian Cooper
(originally for the Somerset County Gazette, link to news article)