Winners of Year 7 Music Scholarships announced

The names of the School’s five new Music Scholars have been announced. Year 7 boys Jonathan Beresford, Himal Bulathsinhala, Jason Mui, Nitharsan Sathiyalingam and Kavi Shah all succeeded in the Scholarship Competition, which culminated in an evening of performances in the School hall.

Director of Music Kieron Howe explained to the audience that the Year 7 Music Scholarship Competition is an integral part of QE’s approach to learning, which involves identifying and rewarding excellence.

“Music has a special place in the life of the School and with each new intake of boys it is vitally important that we provide them with the opportunity to mark this stage of their musicianship. It is important that the competition culminates in a performance, for only on the concert platform is it possible to judge which of the candidates are most able to communicate their music to an audience,” he said.

Twelve boys played during the evening. They were the final few who had already progressed through two short-listings and had successfully completed sight-reading and aural tests designed to evaluate their all-round musicianship.

Danielle Salamon was the Guest Adjudicator and presented the certificates. Ms Salamon is a well established London piano teacher who is a widely experienced lecturer and recitalist and has taught in the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music for many years.

The repertoire performed ranged from classical western and Indian music, such as Chopin’s Waltz in E minor and two traditional Delhi Gharanas, to modern pieces such as Joanna MacGregor’s Lowside Blues. The instruments played included piano, tabla, violin, tuba, drums and miruthangam.

The evening’s programme notes gave details of each boy’s musical background. For the five winners, these details included:

  • Jonathan Beresford – a tuba player for five years who belongs to a number of bands and who performed last year in concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Watford Coliseum
  • Himal Bulathsinhala – plays the tabla, accompanying devotional singers of the Sathya Sai Service Organisation in Walthamstow; also plays for the Arkley Centre
  • Jason Mui – a pianist since the age of eight, Jason has performed in many festivals and concerts and has won a number of prizes at the Watford Festival
  • Nitharsan Sathiyalingam – having played the piano for six years, Nitharsan has achieved Grade 7 Piano with Distinction and won the 2009 Age 10 and under pianoforte category at the Watford Festival
  • Kavi Shah – a tabla player for six years, Kavi is accustomed to playing solo parts at events including the Shishakung Mela. He has also achieved Grade 3 Harmonium with Merit.

The other finalists performing at the competition concert were: Premsankar Premakathiyan, Vincent Chung, Erik Lam, Gregory Wong, Sherman Chen, Jonathan Mo and Ivan Cheung.

“I look forward to charting the progress of all the musicians in Year 7 and in particular seeing the boys who we hear tonight continue to blossom as they move through the School,” Mr Howe concluded.