Senior Solo Music Competition 2018

May 14, 2018 at 10:39 AM

Last week, eleven of our leading senior musicians stepped up to compete for the title of this year’s Senior Solo Music Champion night. Selected through earlier audition, the finalists performed to an appreciative audience in one of four categories: Voice, Piano, Wind or Strings.

Unlike the many other ensemble musical performance opportunities during the course of the year, this event put each individual player in the spotlight under the watchful scrutiny of our two adjudicators for the evening - Warwick Robinson, Head of Music at Westlake Boys’ High and Timothy Carpenter, Director of Choral Music at St Paul’s Collegiate. These students were all exceptional musicians!

In his opening address, Head of Music, Mr Ross Gerritsen said, ‘Whilst performing solo is not for every musician, the process for preparing, delivering and reflecting on competitive performance, unquestionably strengthens musical fortitude and enhances the quality of a musician.’

As the winners were announced, the judges conveyed the difficulty of their decision.  They were most complimentary about the level of technical and musical proficiency of all our students, however, they indicated that at this level of competition, it was ‘not just about playing the piece.’ In an evening of exceptional talent, they were judging the total performance from the time the students stepped onto the stage, watching in particular for the connection they made with their audience.

Whilst selecting winners in each section proved difficult, they were unanimous in their decision to select Double Bass player, John Moon as the winner of the strings section and overall winner. John also won the strings section last year. Playing Koussevitsky’s Double Bass Concerto, John’s skill and poise in front of an audience was clear for all to see. Jacob Borland-Lye won the voice section, Adam Perry won the wind section on piano accordion and Catherine Chang won the Piano section.

In her final words before presenting the Solo Music Cup to the overall winner, Senior College Principal, Mrs Suzanne Winthrop said. ‘Each of you gave an amazing performance tonight of which you can be very proud. You were all inspiring and a pleasure to listen to.’

Previous winners have moved on to exciting musical adventures beyond College, including Sam Rich (Percussion) who is currently studying for his Masters in San Francisco and Manase Latu (Voice) whose career looks set to take off in the world of opera.

We thank the adjudicators for taking the time to spend with our students, offering notes of encouragement and advice at the end of the evening. Our thanks also to Year 13 students, Molly Griffiths and James Fisher who did a sterling job hosting the evening. Whilst the focus was clearly on the student musicians, we must not forget their accompanists! Our sincere thanks to Ms Gracie Francis, Ms Elizabeth Lau and Ms Tatiana Lanchtchikova.


John Moon, Double Bass

Solo Music Competition Finalists
Voice Section
Jacob Borland-Lye – Section Winner
Venice Qin
Desmond Yong

Wind Section
Adam Perry, Piano Accordion – Section Winner
Jesse Niu, Oboe
Eric Zheng, Clarinet

Piano Section
Catherine Chang - Section Winner
Selena Chen

String Section
John Moon, Double Bass - Section Winner
Ericia Chang, Violin
James Wu, Guitar


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