The club is fortunate to have a committee very actively committed to youth work in the local community. Liaison with the Chelmsford High School Interact Club assists activities in raising funds for charities and bring the interactive skills of the younger generation to prominence. Youth Speaks competitions, arranged with help from the committee, engage schools in the area, have been very successful and have had national acclaim. We have strong links with the Chelmsford Competitive Festival of Music Speech and Drama and the Young Musician competition in which the club has a major interest, both locally and in 1240 District, illustrates the wealth of talent and dedication that the younger generation can achieve.
Chelmsford’s heat of the annual Rotary Young Musician competition was held at St Cedd’s School on the evening of Friday, 11 January 2019. The Mayor of Chelmsford, Rtn Yvonne Spence, attended along with her Consort, husband John.
There were ten competitors, all of whom have done well at the Chelmsford Competitive Music Festival. Four were vocalists, two were viola players and we also had a pianist, a flautist, a trumpeter and a classical guitarist. The event was attended by their families and friends and local Rotarians. James Davy, Organist of Chelmsford Cathedral, and Jill Parkin, Chair of the Music Festival, acted as adjudicators. For the first time ever we had a brother and sister competing.
The vocalists started the proceedings, each singing three songs. They chose pieces by classical and twentieth-century composers. Two of the vocalists chose French songs by Fauré; all the other songs were in English.
The instrumentalists all played pieces by European or American composers apart from the pianist, who played music by two Chinese composers.
Altogether we were treated to 1¼ hours of excellent music-making and singing. After all the competitors had performed we had an interval while the adjudicators retired to consider their verdicts. The standards were generally so high that it took them some time.
When they eventually returned they made some general comments about the ways competitors could enhance their performances (“Own the stage” was one piece of advice) before announcing the winners. Joanna Wright won the Vocalist section. The winning Instrumentalist was the trumpeter, Bethan Spragg, who was taking part for the fourth time; the picture shows her with the adjudicators and the Mayor, holding her trophy and certificate. Joanna and Bethan will now go forward to the District Finals to be held in the Cathedral on 9 March 2019.
We would like to thank:
- St Cedd’s School for so generously allowing us the use of their hall and equipment, as they have done for many years now;
- the Mayor for supporting the event and presenting the trophies and certificates;
- James Davy and Jill Parkin for giving up their time to act as adjudicators;
- all the competitors and their families and tutors;
- Graham Hart and Gwyn Calvert-Painter of the Rotary Club of Chelmsford Rivermead for once again providing the refreshments; and
- all the other Rotarians who helped on the night.
[Update: At the District Finals held on 9 March Bethan Spragg won the Instrumentalist category and will go forward to the Regional Final.]