November saw the launch of Whitgift’s very first Woodwind Competition. Despite an already busy term for our Whitgift musicians, the entries came flooding in and we were treated to an amazing array of accomplished performances, across all of the categories.
The lunchtime sessions saw woodwind players performing in the A category (boys up to and including Grade 3 standard) and B category (performers from Grade 4 to Grade 6 standard). Our guest adjudicator, local music industry expert and multi-instrumentalist, Mr Jonathan Myall, was given the difficult job of deciding on the prizes in these hotly contested classes.
The first prize in Category A was awarded to Bakari Leon (Upper First Form), playing the saxophone, for a technically secure and musical performance of No Problem by Gumbley and, in Category B, Pravin Vijayaratnam (Upper Fifth Form) took the top spot with his lyrical interpretation of John Rutter’s Prelude for flute and piano.
Category C took place in the evening, and we were delighted to welcome many parents as well as boys from the earlier categories, to listen to Whitgift’s most advanced woodwind players give some stunning performances. After some tricky deliberation, the third prize was awarded to Arjun Gobiraj (Lower Fifth Form), for a skilful performance of the final Movement of Hindemith’s demanding Flute Sonata; second prize went to bassoonist James Darsley (Lower Fifth Form), for a charming performance of Hurlestone’s Sonata in F major; and first prize went to Sixth Former Marian Bozhidarov, for a sparkling rendition of Rondo by the Bulgarian composer, Boris Karadimchev.
Our final prize of the day was the Jonathan Myall Music Cup for a Woodwind Player with Outstanding Potential, which was awarded to First Form student, Ryan Wu, for his delightful Category B performance of Talkin’ the Talk by Cornick, which captured the characteristic ‘jazzy’ style of the piece with great assurance, showing great future promise.
Congratulations to all who took part, and especially our prize-winners, and many thanks to our competition accompanists, Mr Simon Lane and Mrs Carolyn Kelly, as well as all of our visiting music teachers in the Woodwind Department, for their tremendous support in preparing their students for the competition.