Our College Solo Music Competition has been an annual highlight for our top musicians to showcase their talent in front of renowned adjudicators and large audiences. Planned for mid-August, and after several attempts to secure a different date, the competition finally took place online.
We received overwhelming response with students submitting their video, score, personal brief and composition description digitally in mid-November. We were fortunate to have acclaimed pianist Lindy Tennant-Brown and New Zealand Opera star Joanna Foote as adjudicators this year.
Despite the quality of recording gear which is expected in online music competitions, the adjudicators were pleased with the outstanding quality of entries and the range of repertoires and instruments. Both adjudicators provided substantial written feedback to each contestant for personal reflection and development.
After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce this year’s winners:
Middle School Section Winners
- Percussion Section – Jason Wong
- String Section – Amy Chen (Violin)
- Wind Section – Mia Li (Clarinet)
- Vocal Section – Manawa Rogers
- Piano Section – Edison Zhou
- Brass Section – Jayden Tee (Trombone)
The following Middle School students received the ‘Highly Commended’ recognition for coming close to winning their respective section:
Alex Bian, Max Liu, Charles Sang, Thomas Davies, Amelia Evangelidakis, Elisa Wu, Imogen Perry, Fiona Yan
Senior School Section Winners
- Wind Section – Ethan Fung (Clarinet)
- String Section – Amy Prebble (Violin)
- Piano Section – Amy Prebble (Piano)
- Brass Section – Evan Metcalfe (Horn)
- Vocal Section – Melody Lui (Webster)
The following Senior School students received the ‘Highly Commended’ recognition for coming close to winning their respective section:
Liam Marks, Daniel Huang, Eva Ye, Grace Gao, Jude Beullens, Bredon Tsoi, Harry Chen
The adjudicators discussed the sectional winners before rewatching the videos and deciding on the overall winner for the Middle School and Senior School. Key considerations include technical skillset, the quality of musical interpretation, and communicating a story through music.
The overall winners are:
Middle School Musician of the Year – Mia Li (Clarinet)
Mia has been learning clarinet for 6 years and is currently under the tutelage of Matthew Baker. She is involved in multiple music groups, many of which include Chamber Music, (SKC) Concert Band and Production Orchestra. Outside of school, she is a member of the Howick Youth Orchestra and NZYSW. Mia performed a piece from the ATCL syllabus which she will be completing later this month.
Performing Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano by Horovitz:
Joseph Horovtiz is a British composer and pianist. His orchestral and wind
works for clarinet have achieved many awards. The Sonatina is light-hearted and follows a traditional pattern of the three-movement division. All three movements require effective use of tonality and articulation, which highlights the improvisational spirit from both
the piano and the clarinet.
Watch Mia’s winning performance here.
Senior School Musician of the Year – Amy Prebble (Piano)
Amy is a Year 12 student who has been playing the piano for 10 years and the violin for 5 years. She actively participates in the College’s extra-curricular music groups, from Chamber Music to Production Orchestra. She is the current concertmaster of the school’s Symphony Orchestra and is working towards her LTCL exam for both instruments. The pieces she performed for the Solo Music Competition are selected from her LTCL repertoire, having begun learning them at the start of the year. She felt that they best represent the ups and downs of her musical journey of 2021.
Performing Ballade No. 2 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
This piece is one of Chopin’s four highly significant Ballades and is among his most substantial contributions to piano repertoire. Chopin invented the composition genre of the ballade; a musical work in a narrative style, inspired by the Polish national poet, Adam Mickiewicz’s own ballade poetry. This piece involves a narrative journey through a series of fervent emotions, with their requisite moments of tension and release.
Watch Amy’s winning performance here.