Year 11-13 Music Recital 2023

Posted on: November 9th 2023School News

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Ten pupils from years 11 and 12 performed a variety of musical pieces in the Memorial Hall as part of the annual Senior School recital, open to year 11 pupils and above. They were adjudicated by Mr Richard James, who is a pianist, organist, conductor, composer and teacher as well as an examiner for the ABRSM.

Mr James commented on the high quality of every performance, especially in relation to the communication between musician and audience and the emotions portrayed through the textures of each piece. He spoke highly about each musician and gave useful feedback to everyone so that they could improve their performances in the future.

The overall winner was announced as year 11 pupil Ryan who performed François Doppler’s Fantaisie Pastorale Honroise, Op 26 on the flute. Ryan spoke about his musical journey: “My story begins when I was the age of 4. Back when I lived in Hong Kong, I played the piano as part of a musician program from my school designed to nurture musicianship talent in pupils. However, the piano was too popular of a choice among my classmates. In order for more diversity in the range of musical instruments between pupils, my parents were told that I had to choose another instrument to learn.

“My brother, who was studying in year 1 at the time, was invited to an introduction workshop for musical instruments. Naturally, I tagged along. The wide, spacious wooden hall was packed to the brim with stalls of various colours, each with promotional flags hanging from their tops and instrumental teachers demonstrating the unique quirks and intricacies of their respective instruments in a lively manner. As I strolled by the bustling venue, something happened to catch my eye. I was intrigued by the slim, slender and shiny silver tube, densely coated with complex buttons, screws and mechanical parts. The flute was especially attractive to me because of its sideways nature- while most other instruments were held vertically, the flute stood out as the only instrument in the venue that was held horizontally while playing. With the assistance of a teacher, I clumsily hoisted the heavy pole to my lips, and after taking a deep breath, puffed air into the hole as hard as I could. A siren-like screech sounded across the hallway and the venue fell dead silent. Needless to say, my parents were overjoyed by my gift, and I started taking instrumental lessons with a new teacher shortly after the incident.

“As the years passed and I grew older, I gradually became more proficient in my skills. I would practice regularly and put my soul into perfecting my craft each and every time the flute touched my lips. I eventually passed my ABRSM grade 8 exam with distinction, as well as finishing both my ATCL and LTCL diplomas in quick succession. I had the fortune to study in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under a brilliant teacher, a former graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music. Under his recommendation, I applied for a spot in the Junior RNCM program and received a warm welcome. Here, I study under a fantastic Hungarian flute teacher.

“As I started my life in the UK, I had the privilege of meeting lots of wonderful people along my journey. Due to my enjoyment of the feeling of friendly competition, I signed up for the MGS Senior Recital and prepared a Hungarian piece in honour of my flute teacher. The piece depicts the bare, primitive beauty of Hungarian wildlife as well as an energizing and exhilarating traditional Hungarian Dance. During the performance, I fully immersed myself in the mesmerising scenery and gave it my all”.

Ryan added: “By the end, my blood was pumping with adrenaline and excitement. I also got to enjoy the masterful performances of the other candidates, including a wide range of instruments including acoustic guitar, piano, violin and more. They all played superbly and it was such eye-opening experience. The amazing acoustics of the Memorial Hall only enhanced each performance even further. I had a great time chatting with everyone and hearing everyone share their music. At the end of the day, even though I was awarded the cup, I felt that every single person performing that night was deserving of it as much as I was. I would like to wholeheartedly thank all the teachers and staff who organised the event. Without them, it could not possibly have been as successful as it turned out to be”.

He concluded by saying: “My passion for music continues to burn brightly, and I seek to venture further along that path in the future. A massive thank-you to everyone supporting me along the way”.

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