Downe House Young Musician of the Year 2019

30 March 2019

The Downe Young Musician of the Year 2019 competition came to an exceptional conclusion at the end of the Lent Term at the Prize Winners’ Concert in which the incredibly talented finalists in each class performed. It was clear that all the girls had worked very hard to prepare for their performances and some of the girls even performed from memory, an impressive feat at this level.

With over 160 entries for the Downe Young Musician of the Year competition this year, the term has been full of preliminary rounds and section finals with over 245 performances in the eleven rounds of the competition. The aim is to promote music making at all levels, encouraging musicians of the future as well as celebrating some of the more advanced musicians at Downe. As such, there are three separate classes: Music Maker (Grades 1-3), Maestro (Grades 4-6) and Virtuoso (Grade 7+). Each round has been judged by an external adjudicator, all highly accomplished musicians who assess the accuracy and interpretation of each performance as well as its overall presentation and give verbal and written feedback.

Award-winning British composer, Cecilia McDowall kindly adjudicated the Finals of the competition. Prior to the concert, Ms McDowall who is particularly known for her liturgical work and has recently become a fellow of the Royal Schools of Church Music, gave a talk with a ‘Question and Answer’ session for the girls and their parents.

Director of Music, Dr Charlotte Exon said, “Music is most certainly thriving at Downe! We have had the most spectacular competition this year and it has showcased the significant amount of talent across the year groups. I would like to thank all our adjudicators for giving their time as well as their willingness to share their professional musical experience with us.

Special thanks to Miss Susan Holmes for her excellent accompanying throughout the competition enabling each performer to shine. My grateful thanks to our Visiting Music Team for their support and to Miss Annabel Kidals and Mr Chris Lambert for their fantastic administrative and logistical support throughout the competition. And of course, huge congratulations to all the finalists and to Antonia, Katie, Queena, Lauren and Lucia who were all awarded the coveted title of ‘Young Musician of the Year’ in their respective classes, to Antonia for the winning the Judith Weir Concerto Prize and to Anna for being awarded the Director of Music Prize.“

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