Our young musicians have really excelled themselves this year. It has been my distinct pleasure and privilege to hear 146 children perform in the heats of this year’s Festival. Thursday evening was the culmination of some very hard work, dedicated practise and real musicianship. Our guest adjudicator, Mr Philip Dukes (Artistic Director, Marlborough College), ably assisted by our very own Chair of The Friends Association, Corinna Gregory, had the unenviable task of choosing the winner. During the day, Mr Dukes heard the children selected to play in the semi-finals. To each he gave very thorough written comments on their individual performances, with suggestions on how the children might improve their technique and musicianship. 81 children played in the semi-finals so Mr Dukes earned his keep!

The Blue Coat School Young Musician of the Year 2018 is Tristan Wong. Tristan thrilled the audience with an outstanding performance of the first movement of J. S. Bach’s towering Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971. He is a worthy winner. Tristan has also been selected to represent the Midlands in the prestigious European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) Regional Finals on 17 March 2018.

The Gala Concert was simply spectacular. The 16 finalists played with passion, finesse and great courage and they are all winners in my book.

Mr Nicklin

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