Festival Results 2009

Published February 10, 2014 by Webmaster in Festival Results

One of the longest established Festivals in this country, the 96th Taunton & Somerset Music & Drama Festival began in style on Monday 16th November.Pianists ranging in age from under eight to 18 performed a huge variety of pieces throughout the day, some dazzling with dance and jazz rhythms, some tender and thoughtful.Ruth Harte was an outstanding adjudicator:she developed a good rapport with the performers and adapted her comments perfectly according to the standards of playing, whether to beginners or to the more sophisticated older pianists.It was a privilege to hear her inspiring adjudications, laced with humour and wisdom.Only three Outstanding grades were awarded:to Chris Ma and Stephanie Cheung in the 18 years and under solo classes and to 13-year old Christopher Hedges, who won the Blackdown Cup and the Portman Cup, as well as the Chapman Cup for the most promising pianist.

Caroline Diffley was the excellent adjudicator for the Wind Classes: a delightful communicator, constructive and encouraging to all ages.Parkfield School had won six cups by 11.00am for their orchestral and recorder playing;the quality of thewoodwind and brass classes has been steadily rising andTrinity School’s exuberantSamba Bandandthe accomplished Young Drummers of theBlackdown Hill Steel Band were a terrific new addition to the Festival.

String players impressed adjudicator Oliver Gledhill with their high standard, and many distinctions were earned at all levels.A ‘Family Music’ class featuring 3 generations of one family was great fun:Duets, Chamber Music and Instrumental Chamber Ensembles all achieved Commended grades and the Castle School Swinging Strings won the only Outstanding grade of the day.

There were so many entrants in the Junior Vocal classes that three venues and three adjudicators had to be found to accommodate all the eager young performers.Three singers, adjudicated by Gaynor Keeble and Melanie Armitstead, who achieved more than one Outstanding grade were Sophie Gallagher (three), Oliver Kelham (two) and Verity Wingate (two).Adjudicator Mark Cartwright presided over hundreds of singers in choirs from Bridgwater College, Castle School and Wellington Junior School, all of whom won trophies, and the session ended very cheerfully and loudly with a lively rendition of a well known round set to amusing words and sung by all the choirs together.Mark Cartwright and Gaynor Keeble also adjudicated the Senior Vocal Classes on the final day of the Festival:they were generous with their comments and ever- constructive.In the Vocal Workshop class, Gaynor Keeble worked with her wonderful energy on four singers who wanted to improve their technique and performing skills.

Music is well and truly alive in Taunton and Somerset!


Piano Classes

Solo – Beginners – 8 years and under – Isabella Sheppy – Medal Award
Solo – Beginners – 9 years and over – Chloe Peters – Medal Award
Solo – 8 years and under – Jane Chan – Medal Award
Solo – 10 years and under – Zoe Tweed – Medal Award
Solo – 13 years and under – Christopher Hedges – Blackdown Cup
Solo – 14 years and under – Mickey Li – Kingsfield Cup
Solo – 16 years and under – Christopher Hedges – Portman Cup
Solo – 18 years and under – Stephanie Cheung -W L Reed Cup
Solo – Open – Chris Ma – Tim Harrison Trophy
Solo – Jazz – 14 years and under – Edward Denton – Medal Award
Duet – 10 years and under – Hattie Garstang and Martha Garstang – Paul Billing Cup
Duet – 14 years and under – Sophie Gamble and Megan Smith – Alison Gibson Trophy
Trio – 14 years and under – Mickey Li, Eleanor Newton and Campbell Bradley – Medal Award
Sight-Reading – 13 years and under – Christopher Hedges – Medal Award
Sight-Reading – 18 years and under – Stephanie Cheung – David Horwood Cup
Music Composition – Open – Kathy Coombes – Voucher Award
Any piece by J S Bach – 13 years and under – Oscar Tabor – Bach Shield
Any piece by J S Bach – 18 years and under – Felicity Kerr – Bach Cup
Chapman Cup for most promising pianist – Christopher Hedges
Senior Vocal Classes

Solo Song – Vikki Champion – Kenneth Ellis Cup
British Art Song – Mark Reilly
Light Opera – Kay Lacey – Eva Callebaut Trophy
Song from a Musical composed before 1950 – Zoe Elizabeth Davis
Song from a Musical composed after 1950 – Kay Lacey
Italian Song (in original language) by an Italian Composer – Mark Reilly
German Lieder – Shirley Stollery and Antonina Hajouk – Diana Rees Lieder Trophy
French Melodie – Veronica Lee
Oratorio, Cantata or similar sacred solo – Kay Lacey – Bach Cup
Solo recital – Vikki Champion – Rosa Ewing Trophy
Opera Solo – Vikki Champion – Somerset Motors Cup


The first round of the prestigious Taunton Young Musician of the Year Competition took place during the Festival and drew 13 entries.All the competitors benefited from an adjudication relative to their individual performances. As in previous years, the Committee were posed with the almost impossible task of selectingfive finalists.

In the event, seven students whose ages range between 15 and 18 will go forward into the final round to be held on Sunday 24 January 2010 at Queen’s Hall, Queen’s College. They are: Tom Harris (saxophone); Daisy Newberry (saxophone); Rebecca Millard (oboe); Tom Francombe (tuba); Laura Hammonds (cello); Felicity Kerr (mezzo soprano); Oliver Kelham (tenor).

The finalists will be competing for generous cash prizes and the winner will also be awarded a glass trophy, donated by Shakspeare Glass and will have the opportunity of playing in concert with the Taunton Sinfonietta. The Competition, now in its fourth year, is promoted by the Festival but could not take place without the generous support of Taunton Deane Borough Council, Queen’s College, the Rotary Clubs of Taunton, Taunton Vale and Wellington, Energy Solutions and A.H. Gadd Ltd.


This year’s Taunton & Somerset Drama Festival entry was one of our highest ever, with over 600 children taking part in the classes at Temple Methodist Church. The week started with John Carrington adjudicating a huge verse and prepared reading class for 8 years olds. He was extremely impressed with the quality of work on offer as well as the general confidence displayed by all the entrants. Our main adjudicator, Patricia Hammond then took up her position for four and a half extremely busy days. All the classes were well subscribed and the general standard was exceptionally high – with an average mark for the week of 83%. Patricia also commented on how delighted she was not just with the quality and confidence displayed but also the varied nature of the work chosen by the students and their teachers. She was also very impressed with the excellent standard of diction and behaviour and paid tribute to all the children taking part and the hard work of their teachers. As secretary, I was delighted by the atmosphere throughout the week with all children enjoying themselves, whether it was their first or tenth festival. I am also extremely grateful to the tireless work of our volunteer committee, without this exceptionally dedicated band of helpers the Festival could not take part – so a huge well done to all the children, congratulations to their teachers and a heartfelt than you to the committee.

Darren Riggs
Drama Secretary


Verse Speaking
6 years and under – Raff Evans – Mount Award
7 years and under – Becky Brown – St Christopher’s Award
8 years and under – Olivia Sandow – Sedgemoor Trophy
9 years and under – Henry Kemp – Hilda Chapman Cup
10 years and under – Nicholas Brown – Audrey Leyland Shield
11 years and under – Lucia Blackmore – David Stroud Cup
12 years and under – Alexander Trepass – Margaret Way Cup
14 years and under – Elizabeth Allinson – West Award
15 years and under – Sophie Harrington – Edgehill Cup
17 years and under – Jack Kesterton – Chapman Fox Cup
Sonnet Open – Jack Kesterton – Ann Berger Memorial Award

Duo Verse Speaking
10 years and under – Phoebe Brice and Kiran Armanasco Medal Award
12 years and under – Duncan Dibb-Holland and Jonathan Wilson- Medal Award

Prepared Reading
8 years and under – Flora Keeling – Alexander Joy Award
9 years and under – Tom Lawson – George Gillen Cup
10 years and under – Nicholas Brown – Juliet Bodman Award
11 years and under – Rebecca Wilde – Gulliford Cup
12 years and under – Alexander Trepass – Percy Olds Cup
14 years and under – Flora Whitmarsh – Medal Award
16 years and under – Frederick Barker – Medal Award
Open -David Chase – Medal Award

Spoken Prose
12 years and under – Abigail Wright – Medal Award
14 years and under – Emily Jackson – Medal Award
16 years and under – Sofia Harrington – Medal Award

Group Speaking
10 years and under – Wellington School – Primary Cup
14 years and under – Taunton Preparatory School – Riggs Group Cup

Bible Reading
Open – Ella Carol – Reading Shire Award

Solo Acting
10 years and under – Zoe Phillips – Medal Award
12 years and under – William Kingsberry – Chislett Award
14 years and under – Freddie Cooney – Medal Award
16 years and under – James King-Nickol – Lizzie Pincock Award
16 years and under Shakespeare – Henry Walker – Medal Award
Open – Amelia Clegg – Judith Endacott Award

Duo Acting
10 years and under – Eleanor Loughrey and Rosie Leng
12 years and under – Evie Wellband and March Holingberry – Audrey Leyland Award
14 years and under – Alicia Mileham and Abigail McHardy – Edgehill Award
Open – Laura Fitzpatrick and Charly Andrews

Duo Mime
12 Years and under – Adam Miller and Harry Hewson – Ann Way Cup

Group Acting
10 years and under – William Doherty, Rorke Parkin and Luke Wolferson-Bannister – Medal Award
12 years and under – Emma Stacey, Georgie Blackwell and Emily Payne – Riggs Award