Churchill Academy

Young Musician 2019

The 12th annual Churchill Young Musician of the Year competition took place on Monday 28th January at St John's Church, Churchill. This fabulous event is held in partnership with Churchill Music. The audience was treated to a varied programme by eight of the Academy's most promising musicians, with pieces from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century from composers including Handel, Chopin. Telemann, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Kapustin. The distinguished judging panel, chaired by Susanna Stranders from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, had the difficult task of selecting the winners. More important, however, was the specific feedback the panel provided to the performers, to help them improve and develop their stage presence, engagement with the audience, and musicality. 

After much deliberation - during which the audience were treated to a performance by the Academy's Chamber Choir - the Young Musician of the Year prize was awarded to pianist Jordan Walters. Jordan, who joined Churchill in Year 12 from Priory School, played two contrasting pieces by Chopin, holding the audience spellbound with his musicality and technical prowess. 

The Ursual Dornton Vocal Prize - a new award, sponsored by the Trinity Singers in memory of the much missed Churchill Music trustee - was awarded to George Derry, who also won the audience prize which was voted for on the evening. His spirited rendition of "My Name is John Wellington Wells" from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer brought the house down! 

The Raymond Hayter Song Prize was won by Naomi Blowers, whilst the Churchill Music Junior Trophy was awarded to Ella Hutchinson for her performance on the cello.  The other competitors - Molly Sprouting (voice), John Skeen (piano), Maisie Slingsby (flute), Molly Johnson (voice), and George Skeen (violin) - also received awards for their participation in the finals. 

Mr Hildrew concluded the evening with a speech in which he warned about the decline of provision for music and the performing arts in schools up and down the country, but promised that Churchill would continue to buck the trend. He reaffirmed his commitment to keeping music and the arts at the heart of Churchill Academy & Sixth Form's curriculum and extra-curricular offer, so that young musicians like those on show in this event, would continue to thrive at Churchill for years to come.