Double winners: musicians take two first prizes at festival

QE musicians have won first place in two categories of the Spring Grove Music Festival.

The QE Ensemble, made up of the String Quartet and six singers, won the Popular category and Year 13 student Chris Georgiou’s composition, performed by the String Quartet, won the Composition category.

“After impressing in the first round of the festival, the boys once again put together strong performances in the final and I am delighted with their success,” said QE’s Director of Music, Kieron Howe.

""QE overcame strong competition from schools including The Henrietta Barnett School and South Hampstead High School to pick up the first prizes of £350 per category, which were presented by the actor Simon Callow. The Saxophone Quartet, which also reached the final in the Popular category, performed very well too, Mr Howe added.

All the QE musicians had received positive comments from the first-round judging panel, who said: “We commend the Head of Music at QE on the imaginative and excellent choice of repertoire for all his groups.”

""In fact, the judges were so impressed with the String Quartet’s performance of Chris Georgiou’s composition that they asked to hear it performed again after the first-round adjudication. In their feedback, the judges – pianist Tessa Uys, Royal Shakespeare Company Director Janet Suzman and BBC Radio 3 presenter Lucie Skeaping wrote: “An exciting performance. The accomplished quartet caught the mood of the music. The composer should be congratulated on an outstanding composition. He shows great promise for the future.”

The competition was run under the auspices of the Springdene Care Homes Group on behalf of the elderly, and many residents were present at the performances.