12 March 2024

Spring Music Festival 2024 – recital class

On Sunday 10 March, 13 of our post-grade 8 musicians showed off their talent in our Spring Music Festival recital class competition.

Performers wowed the three adjudicators with their musical prowess, each showing individuality and spirit.

Winner of the recital class competition Niamh (U6E) said: ‘I had the incredible opportunity to take part in the St Helen and St Katharine Spring Music Festival recital class this year. I feel it really helped me to develop my performance skills whilst being able to listen to other students of equally high standards. It was a tough competition to prepare for with such complex pieces and accompaniments (the hardest part no doubt) but I’m happy with how it went on the day.

‘I think I’m really lucky to be at St Helen’s as it has such a talented cohort of musicians who all push each other to be the best and this event is the perfect showcase of such talent.

‘In this recital class, I could focus on becoming a better musician both technically as well as having the confidence to step onto a stage and perform more professionally. As a more senior musician at school, I hope that I can be a role model to the younger years. I wasn’t expecting to win the cup, but I am really honoured and happy that my hard work has paid off – and it’s the perfect end to my time at St Helen’s!’

Darcey (L6B) also competed in the recital class with her two entries: the first being a vocal recital exploring the many sides of love, and in her second she played Telemann & Hurd on the oboe. She commented: ‘Having never done a full 15-minute recital, I thought I’d start by doing two in one day! While this seemed like a daunting challenge, I really enjoyed the process of both preparing the music itself, but also building up my stamina and thinking about the presentation of the performance.

‘Many of us found it a little strange to perform in such a large space as YPH with a somewhat limited audience, but everyone rose to the challenge, and I certainly feel that I gained a lot from this experience – both through the performance itself and the adjudicators’ expert feedback.

‘Whilst I missed some performances due to warming up, real stand-out performances for me were from Beth (U6B) and Niamh (U6E) – with which the adjudicators were in total agreement! Having spoken to Beth about her recital before and the complexities involved, it was absolutely fascinating to hear her bring this to life, using many techniques which I did not even know were possible on the clarinet.

‘Niamh demonstrated incredible poise and control in her recital, showcasing some beautiful contrast through the dynamics and range of the instrument. The adjudicators expressed how impressed they were with the very high standard of all performers, and we were honoured to have three very eminent and experienced adjudicators.’

Read about day two of the Spring Music Festival and the open class competition, and find out more about music at St Helen’s:

Open classMusic at St Helen’s

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