In the annual House Music Competition this year there were 270 performances across several days in eight instrumental categories, as well as several ensemble and duet competitions. Entries were made from pupils from all year groups and of a range of abilities, from Grade 1 to Grade 8+. This year, there was a total of 48 Grade 8+ entries.
We hear from Alex Mason, Director of Music and Chris Langworthy, Assistant Director of Music:
This year we welcomed adjudicators John Hall (professional rock guitarist and teacher); Peter Allwood (previously Director of Music at Christ’s Hospital, and now freelance conductor); Illy Quane (freelance trumpet player and Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music); Daniel Jordan (Director of Music at Eastbourne College); and Leo Geyer (freelance conductor and composer, previously cover conductor at the Royal Opera House). The adjudicator at the Final was Chris Sparkhall, Director of Music at Canford School. They have all been unanimous in their praise for the wonderful musicianship on display in the competition.
The competition concluded on 6 February with some scintillating performances in the Finals Concert. Will S won the Open solo with an accomplished rendition of Horn Sonata. Aidan S and Tamane S won the Duet class with their delightful piano playing in Mozart’s Sonata for two pianos in D Major. Aidan also won the Ensemble class alongside Cecily M and Kinna W with a virtuosic account of Dvorak’s Dumka Trio; Tommy H was a worthy winner in the Rock category; Aidan was awarded the Peter Davis Cup for his all-round contribution to the competition. Field’s House won the House Choir competition.
Competition amongst the Houses for the Music Cup was as fierce as ever. Second’s fought off extremely close competition from Manor and Field’s to land the runner-up spot and the House Music Plate. This year’s clear winner of the Cup is Head’s.
A very well done to all participants.
Two College musicians shared their thoughts on this year’s competition:
Tamane S, Lower Sixth
I entered the piano solo open class competition, string solo class 3 (violin), as well as the piano duet and violin duet. I had prepared for my performances especially for piano duet and piano solo by developing the images and colours for each piece in order to express my own interpretation. I have really enjoyed the piano duet because I have always played as a soloist and have never experienced the enjoyment of playing the piano with somebody else. This year I particularly enjoyed the performances with Cecily and Aidan, and the experience gained will push me to keep engaging with other musicians.
I am currently studying Music A Level and, although I do not have specific plans for the future yet, piano is such a big part of my life that I will definitely keep playing as a hobby.
Hannah C, Third Form
I have entered the solo class 3 competition (grade 6-7) for flute, piano and singing. Also, I entered a flute duet with a friend, a vocal ensemble with some of the Choral Scholars, and the hilarious category ‘One Song to the Tune of Another’ with Cecily and Ally. We sang Man in the Mirror and History to the tunes of Jupiter and Jerusalem - it was really fun!
I take flute and piano lessons and found my weekly individual tuition very beneficial to prepare for the competition, as I received help and coaching from my teachers. I also used my weekly music practice slot in co-curricular time to prepare for my vocal performance.
Being in the Third Form and new to Lancing, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities that the House Music Competition has given me. The most enjoyable thing is to really ‘live’ in the music and have the ability to get fully involved. After this year, I hope to take part in many more successful House Music competitions. I have learnt that the whole programme is fun and a very worthwhile event to take part in.