This year’s Millfield Musician of the Year 2021 brought a delightful remote edition of the competition, which saw over 100 entries from students from all year groups. To adjudicate the competition, Millfield Music School welcomed Magdalen College School’s Director of Music Jon Cullen providing insightful feedback for each performance.
The Instrumental Finals were packed full of exciting performances. First starting with Year 10 Abby on cello performing Georg Goltermann’s 1st movement: Allegro from his 4th Cello Concerto a movement that’s highly contrasting, Abby showcased her musical ability and gave an impressive performance. Next saw Year 9 Harry on saxophone playing Pink Panther by Henry Mancini, a recognisable tune to our ears, Harry played with great accuracy and character. Lower Sixth Maddie followed on piano with All is Calm by Dennis Alexander, a well-controlled performance of a tranquil piece of music. Next up, Year 9 Bianca on violin performing Concertino in a Hungarian Style by Oskar Reiding. A very challenging piece, furthermore Bianca provided a confident and thriving performance. Year 10 Beatrice is next on the piano performing Film Noir by Mike Cornick, showing great accuracy and control throughout, a very crisp rendition. Back to the saxophone, Year 10 Grace performs Vacances by Jean-Michel Damase, a both lyrical and skilful performance. Up next saw our Millfield Certificate winner, Year 11 Solomon performing Singin’ In The Rain by Nacio Herb Brown. Solomon displayed musicality and confidence throughout his performance, a huge congratulations!
Moving onto the Advanced class, Year 11 Xanthe performs the infamous Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No.1, showing virtuosity and expression through phrasing, a wonderful performance indeed. Lower Sixth Jo follows on piano playing Scherzo Humoristique: “Le chat et la souris” by Aaron Copland, an extremely energetic and dynamic piece, Jo provided a splendid and exciting performance. Year 10 Grace returns but on Flute playing Hypnosis by Ian Clarke. This was a really beautiful performance, highly virtuosic and expressive throughout, so captivating to echo the “hypnosis” of the piece. Next, we had Upper Sixth Woon Ngee on double bass performing Chanson Triste and Valse Minature by Serge Koussevitsky, another virtuosic and brilliant performance, Woon Ngee brings this instrument to life with the beautiful melodies, she makes the instrument sing. Year 10 Tabitha follows on the piano with Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. She really captures the buzzing of the bee with the fast passages, Tabitha displays such dexterity in her technique. Year 11 Asher follows on trumpet playing Slavische Fantasie by Carl Höhne, demonstrating great control over tone and articulation. Year 11 William performs Scène de Ballet by Charles August de Beriot, on violin William plays with an outstanding tone in addition to showing great contrast throughout the piece. Lower Sixth Emily was up next on clarinet performing the 1st movement from Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, a very dynamic and virtuosic piece, Emily provides an excellent performance. Upper sixth Annabella returns but, on the violin, playing Max Bruch’s 2nd movement: Adagio from his 1st Violin Concerto. Another stunning performance, Annabella has great musicality, fantastic technique and generates a wonderful sound, especially in the higher range with great intonation and tone. Finally closing the Instrumental Final, Upper Sixth Woon Ngee performs again but on piano playing The Presentiment from Sonata 1.X.1905 by Leoš Janáček. This was a really moving performance, conveying the extreme contrasts this piece holds with great control and captivating the dark and resonant character the piece embodies.
For Millfield Instrumentalist of the Year, in the Intermediate class, Abby won the Strings category, Beatrice won the Keyboard category and Grace won the Wind, Brass & Percussion category, as well as being awarded Intermediate Instrumentalist of the Year. Finally, in the Advanced Category, winners included Woon Ngee for Strings, Emily for Wind, Brass & Percussion, Jo on Keyboard. Overall Millfield Instrumentalist of the Year was awarded to Woon Ngee, who will perform a prize recital at the prestigious Budleigh Music Festival this July as part of her prize.
Watch the concert again - Millfield Musician of the Year Instrumental Final