23rd Oct, 2016

Students scoop musical funding bonus

Shaun Reynolds 26th Oct, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

FOUR students have been awarded with grants to help their musical aspirations following the Heartfield-Wharam Scholarship Concert at the Sixth Form College, Solihull, on Wednesday night (October 21).

A special bursary, set up in the memory of Roy Heartfield and Margaret Wharam, will provide the students money to spend on music tuition from an eminent performer of their choice.

Roy, the orginal head of music at the college, and Margaret, former head of music at Malvern Hall, were remembered on a night where 13 gifted musicians put themselves through a nerve-jangling audition.

In front of an audience combining staff, students and parents, solo performances ranged from vocal pieces to performances on the piano, cello, flute, guitar and trumpet.

James Borland – aged 16 from Solihull – and Jessica Shannon – aged 16 from Bentley Heath – scooped the first prize after both were judged to be the winners.

James performed ‘Idyll’ by Elgar on the trumpet, while Jessica played ‘First Arabesque’ by Debussy on the piano.

Two highly commended prizes were also handed out to Niall Fennell, who performed ‘Crying Machine’ by Steve Vai, and Abigail Davies who sang ‘Song of the Seals’ by Bantock.

Music teacher Chris Phelps congratulated the quartet for their performances and also gave special praise to the 13 students who auditioned.

Mr Phelps added: “I felt like they were all winners and narrowing it down was incredibly difficult.

“Performing in front of an audience is daunting enough without the added pressure of competition, but they all rose to the challenge.

“What pleases me most of all is seeing the improvement our students make and concerts like this really help them to develop.”