On Saturday 23rd March, sixth formers Jay and Ethan competed in the Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year Northwest final.
Both had progressed through two previous rounds, district and area, to reach this stage in the competition.
On arrival at Sandbach High School the competitors were allowed time to warm up and rehearse in the venue before being joined by three adjudicators. As suspected, the standard in both the vocal and instrumental category was extremely high and both boys knew they needed to bring their A game to their performance.
Jay sang first, expertly accompanied by Mr Benger, singing the Elf King by Schubert and Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. He was against five other competitors who sang classical songs, excerpts of opera and songs from musical theatre.
For the instrumental class, Ethan performed an electric guitar solo by Joe Satriani and a rock track by Rainbow.
Other performers in his category played the flute, harp, piano and trumpet.
After lunch and a long deliberation, the three adjudicators, all experienced professional musicians, delivered their verdict. Jay was announced the winner of the vocal category, progressing through to the National Final in May. They were impressed by his stage presence and delivery, saying he captured their attention from the very first note of his performance and convincingly managed to sell a very stylistically contrasting programme.
The instrumental category winner was announced as the flute player. Although Ethan didn’t win, he received high praise particularly from Mr Simon Robertshaw, violinist with the BBC Philharmonic and was given contacts to help promote his band with potential future performance opportunities.
The boys would like to thank Miss Downing and Mrs Rumboldt for supporting them on the day, the PE department for the loan of their PA equipment and Mr Benger for his superb accompaniment.