Millfield Musicians contend for Contemporary Musician of the Year title

Millfield Music School's term concluded with the prestigious Millfield Musician of the Year 2021 Contemporary Final. The concert featured 15 solo performances which were divided into two categories: senior vocal (Year 11 - U6) and advanced instrumental (Grade 7 and above). To adjudicate the competition, Millfield Music School welcomed Magdalen College School’s Director of Music Jon Cullen providing insightful feedback for each performance.

The evening began with our Junior Vocal winner, Year 9 Tansy singing Take Me To Church by Hozier, a brilliant rendition of this powerful song. From one winner to another, Year 9 Ben, winner of the Intermediate Instrumental category, performed The Trooper by Iron Maiden, a fantastic performance showing outstanding skill on the electric guitar, it was a thrill to watch.

Moving onto the Senior Vocal category, Lower Sixth Sam performed live Forever by Oasis, really capturing their distinct sound throughout his performance. Lower Sixth Angelina followed performing Writings on the Wall by Sam Smith. This was an exceptional rendition of this enthralling Bond song, Angelina showcased her sheer power, compelling tone and musicality through her voice. Next up was Lower Sixth Caity performing Vienna by Billy Joel, another captivating performance that seemed effortless yet wonderful.  Sam in lower sixth gave us a flavour of country music singing Randy Travis’ Three Wooden Crosses, a reflective yet great performance, Sam’s voice certainly resonates within the country genre.

Performing Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You, Lower Sixth Eloise, did a wonderful rendition of this song, showing great skill in her vocal riffs and tone throughout. Lower Sixth Liberty follows singing You Were Good To Me by Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler, a delightful cover of this endearing song. Upper Sixth Ryan changed the tone singing Take me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. A classic to many of us listeners, Ryan performed with great dedication and confidence. Oyinkan from Year 11 performed James Arthur’s song Train Wreck. Another confident and fascinating cover of this highly emotive song. Upper Sixth Caragh sang Rihanna’s Stay, an elegant edition of this song to then conclude with lower sixth Tom performing Last Request by Paolo Nutini, a great song and cover to close the vocal rounds.

What better to get us excited than a DJ set from year 11 Arlo, performing his mix Lockdown Pastures. This was an exciting, energetic performance and a moment for us to be excited about music again, Arlo certainly brought the festival spirits to the competition.

Moving onto the advanced instrumental round, first up saw Upper Sixth Connor performing Gravity by John Mayer on electric guitar, a relaxed yet highly skilled performance, Connor was in his element throughout. Alex in Year 9 performed on drums playing Overture by Ralph Simmons. This was a fantastic performance, purely because Alex radiated sheer enjoyment when performing in addition to displaying great technicality. Year 11 Rhys was up next performing It’s a Sin by the Pet Shop Boys. This was a highly impressive performance, exhibiting virtuosity and musicality in his guitar playing. Back to the drums, Year 11 Dan performed Blackened by Metallica, another energetic and confident cover. Al in Lower Sixth performed Wake Me Up by Avicii, a different yet enlivening approach to this EDM song and turning into his style. Finally, we had Lower Sixth Yuv performing Are You Gunna Be My Girl by Jet, an elevating performance to close the competition.

Congratulations to our Senior vocal winner, Angelina and to our Advanced Instrumental winner Rhys, they both gave magnificent performances and have a bright future in music ahead of them! Lastly congratulations to everyone who took part, it was certainly an exciting evening of music making.

Watch the full concert here.

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