The Millfield Musician of the Year finals are a culmination of various heats which have occurred over the course of this half-term, and they showcase some of Millfield’s finest musical talent. First in the competition was our Vocal final. The evening was brilliantly compared by Simon Chalk, who had the incredibly difficult decision of picking the winners.
The final comprised of 17 performances split into four categories; these performers were chosen from the three vocal heats which had occurred earlier in the week.
The first category to perform was Junior Vocal: Classical. First to perform was Maya who sang Dove Se by Handel. This baroque piece was beautifully performed in a lyrical and moving way by Maya who had the incredibly challenging job of being first on stage. Next was Tansy who sang Das Veilchen by Mozart. This was described as “Papagena-esque” by Chalk, in its sweet and characterful portrayal of the German song. Lastly in the Junior Classical category was Amelie who sang Vieni Vieni O Mio Diletto by Vivaldi. Her stylistic ornamentation on repeated passages were brilliantly executed.
Next was Junior Musical Theatre and Jazz. Megan kicked off this category with a powerful performance of There are worse things I could do from ‘Grease’. Her low range has great depth, creating a lovely tone throughout. Tansy then performed for the second time in the evening, only this performance of Home from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was done with a completely different vocal style. Her low register was used to craft a different tone colour and she produced a confident and assured sound. Last up in this category was Charlie, who utilised movement throughout his performance of Sandy from ‘Grease’, moving throughout the space to enhance the drama of the song. As Chalk later commented, the use of speech on top of a moving accompaniment can be very difficult but it was expertly managed during this performance.
Senior Classical category came next and had six performances, beginning with Maddie. Maddie’s performance of Gretchen am Spinnrade by Schubert gave a vivid portrayal of the spinning out of control and madness that is at the centre of the song. Next was Esme who sang Verborgenheit by Wolf. Her performance culminated in a powerful climax, and it was clear that she enjoyed singing this style of music. Caspian then entered the stage with his performance of Money, O! composed by Michael Head. This fast witty song was expertly communicated by Caspian, and was enhanced by the depth and richness of his low notes. After three performances by Upper Sixth students, Year 11s then came to the stage. First was Jenny with Du Bist Die Ruh’ by Schubert. This beautiful song was incredibly well suited to Jenny’s sweet voice, which flourished on the top Ab’s at its climax. Then came Beatrice, who sang Bonocini’s Per la Gloria d'adorarvi. Beatrice’s on-stage presence is incredibly personable and engaging. Her sweet voice drew the audience as she serenaded us with images of Italian love. Last up was Charlie who sang Sea Fever by Ireland. Charlie managed to convey the dark and stormy mood of the song brilliantly.
The final category was Senior Musical Theatre and Jazz. This category began with Angelina who gave an incredibly emotional performance of She Used to Be Mine, from ‘Waitress’. Angelina expertly moved between her chest and head voice for expressive effect creating a powerful arch to the song. Next up was Jasmine who sang You Don’t Know This Man, from ‘Parade’. Jasmine’s steely performance held the audience, with fantastic stage presence and invested communication. Teddy was next to the stage with his emotive performance of Empty Chairs and Empty Tables, from ‘Les Misérables’. It is always a challenge to take on such a well-known song, but Teddy did it with confidence and he produced a beautiful tone. After Teddy, Eloise lifted the mood with the fun and charming song Broadway Baby, from ‘Follies’. Her charismatic performance highlighted her rich tone and full low register, with the fun-feeling being enhanced by her use of portamento. Last but by no means least was Rainbow who closed the evening with I Know Where I’ve Been, from ‘Hairspray’. This was a very powerful and moving performance. Rainbow expertly shaped the phrases and built a natural climax into the song.
After everyone had performed the audience adjourned to the Johnson Hall Foyer while Simon Chalk chose a winner for each category. Simon then went through the performances and gave feedback to all of the singers. A huge congratulations to the winners of the different vocal categories, Junior Classical: Tansy, Junior Musical Theatre and Jazz: Charlie, Senior Classical: Caspian and Senior Musical Theatre and Jazz: Rainbow. Our overall winner was Caspian. The evening was a spectacular success, the standard of singing was phenomenal, and it left everyone feeling incredibly moved and proud.
To discover more about Music at Millfield, click here.