Music update: exam results, conservatoires and County Youth Orchestra

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By Doug Mcilwraith, Director of Music

Congratulations to Bedales students for excellent performances in their recent music exams. After attending the Chetham School of Music’s summer piano course for advanced help on piano techniques – including an introduction to music for prepared piano – 6.2 student Mary Wang was awarded a Distinction in Grade 8 piano. The following students passed with Merit: Juliet Solomon-Solymar (Block 3, Grade 4 oboe); Beatrice Lingham (Block 4, grade 6 piano); Jamie Loudon (Block 4, Grade 2 percussion); Leela Walton (Block 4, Grade 6 violin); and Annia Grey (Block 5, Grade 5 violin). Harry Hetherington (Block 3) and Imogen Wright (Block 3) both achieved strong passes in Grade 5 oboe and Grade 3 trumpet respectively.

We now have several of our advanced musicians who take extra lessons in London on Saturdays at the country’s top music conservatoires. Jake Lacey (6.1) and Lila Levingston (Block 5) attend the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Tiger Braun-White (Block 5) attends the Royal Academy of Music and Kai MacRae (6.1) attends the National Youth Jazz Orchestra junior course. All of these institutions demand the absolute very best from their students and we congratulate our students for winning places to study and take part in their programmes.

Bedales now has four students playing in the County Youth Orchestra: Mary Wang and Sampson Keung (6.2) play percussion and Sampson is section principal, George Harlan (Block 5) plays horn and Monty Bland (Block 5) joins this year on double bass. They are working on some of the greatest ever works for orchestra: Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, which changed the course of music history, and Mahler’s 5th Symphony.

It is so important for all of us to compare what we do at Bedales to what others do in other communities and we congratulate our musical ambassadors for striving to work with the best young musicians in the south of England and ensuring that Bedales is very much on the musical map.