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06 April 2016

Music Success at the highest levels 

The Music department is celebrating success in university applications, external examinations and at national level.  Many congratulations go to Joe Payne who has been awarded a Choral Scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge, a wonderful achievement following a highly competitive entry process.   Patrick Shepherd and Monty Hancock are both holding offers to read Music at Manchester – an extremely popular university for the subject – while Helena Regan has been awarded a place at the Boulder School of Music at the University of Colorado. 

In ABRSM and Trinity Spring examinations, more than half of all entries gained either a distinction or a merit, with four distinctions at Grade 8 level.  Topping the list was Benjamin Evans who scored 142 out of a possible 150 at Grade 8 Alto Saxophone.  Entries were across a wide range of wind and string instruments as well as Singing and Piano. 

Meanwhile over the Easter holiday, two Canfordians played with National orchestras.  Clarinettist Bea Fairbairn took part in concerts led by Conductor Rodney Winther and Flautist Paul Edmund-Davies at Cheltenham and RNCM Manchester as part of the National Youth Wind Orchestra.  Competition for places in the NYWOGB is extremely high as the UK's premier wind orchestra for around 75 musicians aged 14-21.  Double Bass player Sam Hopkins, currently part of the National Youth Orchestra, performed in concerts at the Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The competition for seats in the NYO this year was greater than ever before, with over 600 young musicians aged up to 19 auditioning.

Christopher Sparkhall, Director of Music, was delighted with the achievements:

“All our musicians should be very proud of these fine results and I am very pleased that their hard work has been so well rewarded by external examiners.   Our university entrance success is equally impressive, with two scholarships to Oxbridge in the past three years and the first offer to a US Music college.   I am also very pleased that our two young musicians, Bea Fairbairn and Sam Hopkins, are enjoying developing their music with the National Youth Wind Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra respectively. ”

Speaking of his Cambridge choral award, Joe Payne said:

“I feel that this is the culmination of over three years’ worth of very focused singing and teaching so to be awarded with what I set out to achieve, especially at my first choice college, really is quite wonderful.”

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