Junior School Young Performer 2023
Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year's Young Performer event on Tuesday 21 March, which saw nearly 20 Junior School musicians from years 3-6 play pieces of their choice in the Memorial Hall.
The visiting adjudicator was extremely impressed with the standard of performances and gave four Highly Commended awards alongside the overall winner.
Year 5 pupil Jerome played the violin and spoke about his experiences: "I played Seitz’ ‘Student Concerto No.5, Opus.22’ on the violin in the Memorial Hall of MGS. It was a wonderful experience! I love performing because I know I am expressing the piece of music. It feels flattering to let everyone know about the piece’s story and its different characters! They could be graceful, playful, angry, or proud. The list goes on; the composer decides! It makes me feel happy, upbeat, and proud of myself for telling the story through music expressively. When I am doing the performance, it feels like I am skipping on rainbows! This feeling makes all the effort dedicated to practising worthwhile. Of course, performing can be nerve-wracking. All the eyes boring into me makes me want to run away and hide. But the wonderful adrenaline and positive feelings makes me forget about the eerie part of renditioning and allows me to express the music more. I love the violin because the practice always pays off on a performance like this. It allows me to express my feelings in a unique and powerful way. Playing the violin is a wonderful strategy to relax at the end of a long day. It can be a form of meditation and reduces stress massively. I highly recommend it if you are looking for an instrument to play. I am highly grateful that MGS has allowed me to have so many performing opportunities like this."
Year 3 pupil Rui was highly commended and said: "In the event I played the pieces: ‘Theme and Variation’ and ‘Theme from Berceuse’ from my grade three exam pieces. At the start of the performance, I was a little bit nervous to play my pieces but a bit excited to play my violin in front of so many people. After the event I felt proud that I got a highly commended for my pieces. I enjoy playing music because when I get better it will sound amazing in front of people. I liked the format of the event because the audience can see me, and I can see the accompaniment when he starts playing. I also enjoyed listening to the other performers play their pieces. I also liked how parents could come to see me."
Year 3 pupil Guanzhen was highly commended and said: "I felt quite nervous at the start of my playing, but soon I started to feel more confident. I really enjoyed performing in front of my family, my friends, the adjudicator and Miss Shercliff. It was a very friendly atmosphere because it wasn’t performing in front of strangers. I played two pieces, ‘Moonbeams’ by Barbara Arens and ‘The Swallow’ by Friedrich Burgmuller. ‘Moonbeams’ is a beautiful quiet piece whilst ‘The Swallow’ is a fast and lively piece. The Steinway & Sons grand piano was amazing and it provided brilliant sound. I loved the feeling when I played it. I didn’t win the competition but I got highly commended and still enjoyed it a lot. It was not just a competition, but a great opportunity to listen to other players play all kinds of musical instruments and receive feedback from the adjudicator. It is a fantastic opportunity for all music lovers who want to perform in front of people. I look forward to performing again next year!"
Year 5 pupil Leo was highly commended and spoke joyfully about the event: "At the very fun ‘Young Performer’ event, which I really enjoyed, I played two pieces, ‘Nocturne in E flat Major’, by Chopin, and ‘The Child That Is Born On The Sabbath Day’ by R.R. Bennett. Chopin is also one of my favourite composers and I really enjoyed the ‘Nocturne’ because of its beautiful light touches and elegant phrasing, and the drama that builds up at the end gradually melts to an exquisite soft repetition. I also love the Bennett because of its fast strange rapidity. I really enjoy playing the piano because of its great sound and feel, I feel brilliant when I play a great piece. When I played I felt nervous originally though I was fine by the fact that I was playing the ‘Nocturne’ from memory. Despite these facts I enjoy playing to an audience so I can share my playing."
Year 6 pupil Brian was another pupil who was highly commended, and spoke with feeling: " At this year’s Young Performer event, I had the honour of playing two piano pieces: ‘Allegretto’ by Bohuslav Martinu and ‘Prelude: Twilight’ by D.G. Rahbee. I love music, as music is my passion. Playing the piano brings me immense joy and stirs my emotions in incredible ways. It also boosts my confidence and helps me concentrate better. It also brings me a sense of pride and accomplishment. I’m grateful every day for the wonderful things that music brings to my life, including inspiration and motivation.As the final performer in the competition, I felt the pressure after seeing all the other excellent performances. Initially, I was nervous, but when I started, that feeling disappeared. My only focus was to fully immerse myself and convey my understanding for the two pieces to the audiences. I was overjoyed to receive recognition and praise from the professional judge. It was a validation of my hard work and dedication to music".
Brian concluded: "Everyone has their own understanding of music, and I also have my own perspective on it. I strongly believe that technique is never more important than sense, mood and shape in music. The purpose of studying music is to bring oneself joy and to communicate emotions to others. Also, learning music is not necessarily to be a professional and perform at concerts. The biggest and most important aspect of music is that it brings happiness and joy".
Well done to everyone who performed and we wish you the best of luck for your musical journeys in the Senior School!