String of Musical Successes for Justin
Senior School pupil and talented musician Justin has enjoyed a string of musical successes of late.
During February half term, he competed in 5 Piano Solo classes in the Stratford and East London Music Festival, the oldest Music Festival in the UK, with around 1,000 entries in 200 classes. Justin won the ‘Piano Solo 15yrs and Under’ class playing ‘The Force Theme’ by John Williams as well as the ‘Piano Solo 16yrs and under’ class performing ‘Sugar Plum Funk’ by Tchaikovsky arranged by Eric Baumgartner. He also won the ‘Piano Solo 17 years and under’ class playing ‘Waltz in C sharp minor’ by Chopin.
In addition, Justin took part in the Chopin Class performing ‘Polonaise in C sharp minor’ and then in the ‘Recital Class 11 to 17yrs, playing ‘Sonata in F minor, 1st movement by Beethoven’ and ‘Moonscape by Roxburgh’. Competitors performed on an old but well-preserved Steinway concert grand piano in a beautiful venue.
Justin recently entered the Saffron Walden Music Festival in two classes: ‘Baroque and Classical’ and the ‘Romantic and Modern’, achieving 1st place in the ‘Baroque and Classical Class’ performing ‘Sonata in F minor’ by Beethoven. Justin was delighted to play on a beautiful Steinway with "fantastic touch, it was easy to control the sound you produced so it was easily one of my favourite venues".
Last term Justin was overjoyed to be presented with the following award in the Southend Musical Festival 2018: The Piano Pavilion Trophy for the Most Promising Junior Piano Soloist (age 11-15 years). He was also presented with the Beckenham Music Festival 2018 Markson Trophy for Outstanding Piano Soloist age 14 and Over, a truly prestigious achievement as he was chosen from the top 25 pianists over 14 years of age, including adults.
Commenting on how much experience he feels he has gained from these festivals, Justin wants to encourage others to enter them. He thanked the College "for giving me lots of performance opportunities such as assemblies and school concerts which prepare me for these competitive festivals".
On 10th of March, shortly after submitting this report, Justin took part in another music competition: the European Piano Teachers Association UK Piano Competition. At this event Justin was awarded 1st place in the Advanced Category and, in addition to receiving a prize, he will advance to a National Final to be held at the main auditorium of the Royal Academy of Music in London in April.