Pupils present impressive display of musical talent

Young Musicians of the Year Aiden Harvey and Katie Brown.
Young Musicians of the Year Aiden Harvey and Katie Brown.

A packed audience in the Lowson Memorial Church, Forfar, recently enjoyed a dazzling display of musical talent at Forfar Academy’s summer concert.

The evening also incorporated the Young Musician of the Year competitions, and started with the Junior Competition for the Ebern Cup, hotly contested by Katie Brown on piano, Ceri Gauton on trombone and Heather Paterson (voice). Katie’s rendition of Bach’s ‘Prelude in C Minor’, Heller’s ‘Study in Blue’ and Stapleton’s ‘Blue Sky Blues’ saw her lift the trophy, named after the academy’s partner school in Germany.

In the Senior Competition for the William D Bernard Trophy – named after a former academy music teacher - the contest was every bit as fierce. Aiden Harvey on guitar presented an extremely varied programme, with the Heavy Metal ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ contrasting sharply with the more ephemeral rendition of Pachelbel’s ‘Canon’, which was given a unique interpretation.

Samuel Hill on flugelhorn played ‘Concerto de Aranjuz’ by Rodrigo and ‘Blue Bossa’ by Dorham. Eilidh Robertson (voice) sang ‘The Life I Never Led’ from the popular musical ‘Sister Act’ and the Christine McVie song, ‘Songbird’.

The judge for the evening, Ian Young MBE, of the National Youth Choir of Scotland, said that he had found it extremely difficult to separate the performances and praised all of the competitors for their skill and talent.

A selection of the many ensembles which have been meeting and performing at the academy throughout the session was presented to the audience. These included performances from the school orchestra; junior, intermediate and senior chamber choirs, which included a range of modern and classical pieces. Another highlight of the evening was the performance on the marimba by Brodie McCash of ‘Yellow after the Rain’, by M Peters. The musical part of the evening concluded with performances by the senior choir and a finale by all choirs, staff and former pupils of William Jackson’s ‘Land of Light’.

The evening was dedicated by Malcolm Dowie, music department head, and rector Melvyn Lynch in his vote of thanks to their former colleague John Vannet, Depute Head Teacher, who died recently and had been a mainstay of the Summer Concert and the competitions.