Standards high as QE composer wins Music festival prize

All four QE groups in a prestigious Music festival reached the finals – and the School won the composition category.

Fourteen boys from QE took part in the 2016 Spring Grove Music Festival, an annual competition run under the auspices of the Springdene Care Homes Group for the benefit of the elderly. These groups were:

· Year 13 Piano Trio, featuring pianist Anhad Arora, Simon Purdy (violin) and Akhil Shah (cello)

· Barbershop, featuring Anhad, Daniel Cheung (Year 13), Alfie Clarke (Year 11), Simon and Varun Vassanth (Year 12)

· Saxophone Group, featuring Thomas Archbold (Year 13) and Rohan Radia (Year 12), as well as Rufus Kent (Year 11 – baritone), Sanjeev Menon (Year 11 – tenor) and John Tan (Year 10 – alto)

· Original Composition, featuring composer Drew Sellis (Year 9, playing alto sax), Tai Oyama (Year 9 – cello) and Bhirammah Ramanohar (Year 9 – violin and piano).

After the festival, its Director, Dr Robin Powell, wrote to the Headmaster to congratulate him on the School’s participation. “The judges felt that the 14 Queen Elizabeth’s School students who performed as four musical ensembles in both popular, classical, and composition music competitions did so with great skill and musicality.

""“To pick out individuals seems invidious but I must mention Drew Sellis who, with the support of Bhiramah Rammanohar and Tai Oyama, triumphed with Swing Groove in the original composition competition,” wrote Dr Powell, who also complimented the “positive and supportive response” of the School’s Music department. The prize for the composition category was £250 for the School.

“In all, your students and your staff were a tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s School,” he added.

QE’s Director of Music, Cheryl Horne, reports that the boys in the Piano Trio were competing against four other groups and were narrowly pipped at the post: “Their feedback from the original heat was ‘…effective ensemble playing and an enjoyable performance. This was pretty much of a professional standard’ – which shows the skill involved at this level.”

The Spring Grove Music Festival started in 2005 with the aim of providing enjoyment and interest to the elderly residents of Spring Grove care home, which is on the Finchley Road, near to Swiss Cottage. Many Springdene Care Homes Group were present at this year’s event.