This year’s House Music Competition saw the addition of two new categories – Partsong and Instrumental. These took place on the Monday prior to the traditional House Singing Competition, and brought new diversity and an exceptionally high standard for small groups from each of the Houses.
The Partsong competition invited each House to present a three part (or more) unaccompanied partsong of their own choice. Arguably the most difficult of the categories, there was a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from 16th century polyphony to 21st century a cappella arrangements of pop songs.
Placed Houses were as follows:
1st – Westal – Danny Boy
2nd – Ashmead – Titanium
3rd – Christowe – Only You
The instrumental competition operated on a similar basis, with a requirement for three independent instrumental parts, with the option of adding a fourth vocal line.
Equally diverse with their responses, the first three placed Houses were:
1st – Leconfield – Tequila
2nd – Boyne – Highland Cathedral
3rd – Westal – Like I Can
Particular mention must go to the superb improvisation skills of Rafal Dovgialo (4th, L) and Charlie Holloway (L6, L) on the Saxophone for Leconfield’s entry, as well as Freddie White’s (5th, BH) Bagpipe playing for Boyne House.
The two new categories were adjudicated by Mr Lloyd Griffith, a professional singer and stand-up comedian, who commented on the exceptional standard of all Houses entries.
The format for House Singing remained unchanged, other than the inclusion of performances of each of the winning Partsong and Instrumental competitions. The whole House is required to participate in this part of the competition, and as ever, the competition was fiercely fought, and the top three places passionately discussed both before and after the event.
1st – Ashmead – Beach Boys Medley
2nd – Westal – ‘Cups’ When I’m Gone
3rd – Chandos – The Way You Are/Just a Dream
The most impressive thing about this year’s competition was the superb leadership demonstrated by pupils in independently putting the various performances together. Particular mention must go to Taya Sellers (U6, W), as Westal was the only House to place in all three categories; George Cook (U6, Xt); Arabella Knowles (U6, A); Freddie White (5th, BH) and Rhodri Hande (U6, S).
The adjudicator for the House Singing Competition was Mr Timothy Carleston, a professional trumpeter and singer, and member of the Queen’s Six, a new a cappella ensemble.
The House Music Competition demonstrated superb involvement in music from every College student of all levels of musical experience and ability. Next year is already being discussed and planned in some areas, and promises the same intensity and passion. I hope it can also achieve the same superb standard, easily the highest I have seen in school competitions.
By Mr David McKee