Taunton Young Musician Report 2009-10

Published February 10, 2014 by Webmaster in Taunton Young Musician Reports

4th Taunton Young Musician of the Year Competition

The first round of the prestigious Taunton Young Musician of the Year Competition, took place during week of 16th Nov 2009 and drew 13 entries. All competitors benefited from adjudication relative to their individual performances during the Taunton & Somerset Music & Drama Festival. As in previous years, the Committee were posed with the almost impossible task in the selection of 5 finalists.

In the event, 7 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. 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 4th 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.

Final Round and Results

On Sunday 24th January, with kind permission of the Headmaster, Queen’s Hall once again hosted the finals of the Taunton Young Musician of the Year. What a treat was in store for the audience!

Tom Francombe (Castle School) kicked off the proceedings with marvellously mellow notes on his tuba; during “Ysano” we seemed to be walking and conversing with a gentle friend. He was followed by Felicity Kerr, mezzo soprano (Richard Huish) who treated us to emotional renditions of Schumann and Dring. Tom Harris (Queen’s) next swept us off our feet with the lively performance on his saxophone, especially of “Confirmation” by Charlie Parker. Rebecca Millard brought the first half to a close on her oboe, playing a startling and unaccompanied “Pan” by Benjamin Britten as her last piece.

After the interval, the 15minute individual performances continued.Daisy Newberry (Heathfield) took us around Europe and got us dancing mentally to “Gipsy Songs” by Balogh. Next tenor Oliver Kelham (Taunton School) showed smooth tones and clear diction with a variety of songs. Last but not least Laura Hammonds (Millfield) held us spellbound from the first notes on her cello, finishing the concert with brilliant showmanship in “Pezzo Capriccioso” by Tchaikovsky.

So how could the judges decide? The distinguished team was composed of Colin Touchin (Chairman), Nigel Perrin and Kathryn Hardman.Brian Cresswell introduced them and Colin Touchin enlighted the audience on how they judged such a disparate selection of talent. Did the musicians convey clearly what the composer wanted? Do not mumble either in your music or your introduction!And the most compelling performances are given by those whose whole being is subsumed into the music….

The Mayor of Taunton Councillor Bob Bowrah distributed the prizes. Third was tenor, Oliver Kelham, second saxophonist, Daisy Newberry and the winner of the Shakspeare Glass trophy was cellist Laura Hammonds, who has just won a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.A name to watch! All the runners-up received well-deserved awards and then the Mayor congratulated these young people; looking at their CVs, you really cannot say that youngsters have nothing to do!

Grateful thanks were expressed to all the hard working accompanists, who had given up a cosy Sunday afternoon at home to support these talented young people.Especial thanks and flowers were offered to the organiser Mavis Kettlewell.The efforts of President Diana Rees and her team were acknowledged as well as the generous support of this years sponsors, the Rotary Clubs of Taunton, Taunton Vale and Wellington was highlighted since Taunton Young Musicians’ Competition is now being linked into the Rotary Young Musician Competition.

A wonderful afternoon!We heard how well previous winners have done and we are already looking forward to next year.