Talented teenagers launch school's new musical calendar

Seven talented teenagers have helped launch the latest calendar of performances at a Shropshire school that staged the sixth annual grand final of their ‘Musician of the Year’ competition.

Seven teenagers have helped launch the latest calendar of performances at Wrekin College
Seven teenagers have helped launch the latest calendar of performances at Wrekin College

Wrekin College hosted a special evening featuring performances on brass and wind instruments together with vocal and piano pieces.

The final, which was postponed from the last academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic, was also due to have string finalists but as they were now at university they were unable to attend.

Director of music Simon Platford said it was a very inspirational evening where the quality of the performances from the young musicians definitely heralded in a new ambitious year ahead for music at the school.

“It has been a difficult time for musical performance which has been impacted greatly by restrictions put in place during the last 18 months due to the pandemic,” he added.

“But now we are, fingers crossed, looking forward to a very exciting year ahead full of opportunities for children to really develop their musical abilities and their performance skills.

“I was very proud of the way our finalists approached this event and the performances they gave were outstanding. It was an uplifting experience for everyone who attended.”

The school is looking forward to a very busy schedule of rehearsals with plans in the pipeline for a number of school events and external festivals and competitions.

Next year sees many of the concerts planned for 2020 that had to be cancelled, returning, with concerts from The Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Philip Stopford and many more.

Internally at the school a cast has already been selected for a musical theatre showcase, featuring hits from the West End and Broadway, set to take place in February.

The Wrekin College concert band and jazz band are also preparing performances they will give at regional festivals to try and attain places at the National Festival of the National Concert Band Festival, which will be held in Manchester in April.

The Chapel Choir, junior groups and numerous small ensembles are also back rehearsing together across the year groups with a number of performances in the diary for both Christmas and beyond.

“It has been wonderful to see our groups back rehearsing together and seeing once again how beneficial it is to their school life to be a part of an ensemble which includes children of various ages, and the teamwork and camaraderie that engenders,” added Mr Platford.

“Celebrating with what was a showcase of some of our most talented musicians was a very positive way to start this new year of music at Wrekin College.”

The seven finalists were Hope Brown (piano), Tim Evans (voice), Isola Egerton (voice), Toby Egerton (saxophone), Huw Morgan (clarinet), Jirat Nithimapinan (drums) and Oliver Stott (trumpet) with Isola who performed three contrasting songs including the Prince classic ‘Nothing compares to you’ named this year’s musician of the year by the adjudicator for the evening Stavros Kokkinos from Concord College.

The school opened a £2.5 million music school in January 2020 and is accepting applications for music scholarships with interviews and auditions to be held in the middle of November.

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