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Senior Inter-set Solo Competition


The half-term was rounded off perfectly with a musical treat in the form of the Senior Final of the Inter-set Solo Competition.

All boys in Years 6, 7 and 8 have the opportunity to earn points for their set by playing in class music lessons, and a selection are invited to proceed to the final.

The adjudicator was former Chorister parent and Director of Music at Canford, Mr Chris Sparkhall. Chris provided feedback to each finalist, praising them for practising diligently and performing beautifully, to an appreciative audience or peers, staff and parents.

The Year 6 cohort performed beautifully. Nathan had a delicate sense of tone, Patrick's humorous piece had a lovely sense of articulation, Raphael made everyone want to dance with his lively and joyful performance, Rian had lovely thoughtful contrasts and Sam chose a challenging violin piece but did a terrific job, as did all the boys.

The runner-up in Year 6 was William, who performed his flute piece with great articulation on the fast passages, but the winner for Year 6 was Alfie with his lovely light and elegant performance, with great use of the piano's sustain pedal.

Year 7's Louis offered a truly delicate vocal solo, while the runner-up, Tristan performed his piano piece with great skill. The Year 7 winner was John with his moving piece on cello (and I may have had a tear in my eye at the end, so I wasn't surprised when this was announced!)

The Year 8s gave a splendid recital and Mr Sparkhall remarked of all the boys, they are hugely impressive! Kelvin's clarinet playing was expressively done, Michael had delicate finger work with crisp articulation and lovely dynamics, while Nikhil's (or was it Gabriel's) oboe playing transported us all away to somewhere far off! Freddie sang to us next; to stand and sing unaccompanied is such a challenge, but the performance was measured and poised, with a very effective ending that died away to nothing - a huge well done!

Mr Sparkhall thanked the audience for sitting still and being so attentive. Of course, the performers helped by holding the mood with their very accomplished playing. Brahms gave Charles, but also his accompanist, something to work hard on; the result was polished and impressive! The accompaniments are so important; many thanks to Mr Burton and Mr du Plessis. The Year 8 runners-up were Michael and Charles.

The Year 8 winner was Alex, and our adjudicator said "Alex would not be out of place performing in a concert hall - it was a privilege for me to hear him play. The opening was delicate, with a lightness of touch that was marvellous. He finished by firing up the audience for the big ending. Well done, Alex!"

Our thanks go to all the boys who took part and to Mr Sparkhall for his encouraging words and valuable critique.

Julie Allen









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