Music Festival welcomes professional Opera singer and former student as Adjudicator
This year’s music festival took place over three days, culminating in the festival concert on Friday 24th June and featuring the finals of the ‘RHS Young Musician of the Year’ with special guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale.
The concert followed two extremely full and exciting days as students of Brass, Woodwind, String, Guitar, Voice, Keyboard and Percussion did their best to impress our guest adjudicator Mr Aidan Edwards, a professional opera singer and former student of Rastrick High School. Aidan studied Music to A Level and played saxophone, piano and guitar, going on to study Vocal and Opera Studies as a Baritone at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he graduated in 2014, returning to complete his Masters in Musical Performance this year ,making him well qualified for the difficult task of selecting the winner of each class to go forward to the Friday night final.
Assistant Director of Music Mr Jonathan Marriott added, ‘It was wonderful to welcome back a former student; Aidan did an excellent job of giving the students encouraging and insightful feedback whilst entertaining the audience. Students were in no doubt about his enthusiasm and passion for music and his comments will inspire them to even greater things in the future’.
During his time at the RNCM Aidan has appeared in many operas including principle roles in 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' and 'Street Scene'. He has also had lead roles with Sheffield based company 'Opera on Location' in 'La Boheme' and 'Eugene Onegin'. Aidan has performed recitals at the Bridgwater Hall in Manchester, Edinburgh Arts Festival, Nottingham Concert Hall, Sage Gateshead and the Southbank Centre, as well as singing live on ‘In tune’ for BBC Radio 3.
In 2016 Aidan won the prestigious Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award for Singers and he has also performed, to critical acclaim, in Kiev and Paris, the highlight of which was performing at Notre Dame Cathedral with the Bulava Chorus. He is currently touring with Opera North performing Wagner’s ‘Gotterdammerung’.
Our congratulations go to this year’s Junior winner, Amelia Lewis, who performed ‘Fantasy for Trombone’ by James Curnow and senior winner Libby Brearley who played ‘Sonata’ by Poulenc on flute . The other junior finalists were Louise Grimshaw (Percussion), Kiran Banga (Violin), Amelia Lewis (Piano), Ben Malone (Guitar), Ben Malone (voice) and Caitlin Pickering (Saxophone). Other senior finalists included Harry Lewis (Piano), Georgia Collier (Guitar), Kirsten Walton (violin), Oscar Brown (Drum Kit), Jack Fowers (Voice) and Matthew Williams (Euphonium).
The concert also featured items from Big Band, Including ‘Chameleon’ and ‘Straighten up and fly right’ featuring vocalist George Jenkins. The Concert Band performed Bandology, Pachelbel’s Canon and A Tribute to Michael Jackson. The Junior choir performed ‘Can you Hear Me’ and the choirs combined to perform In the Heart of the World and Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
The other junior finalists were Louise Grimshaw (Percussion), Kiran Banga (Violin), Amelia Lewis (Piano), Ben Malone (Guitar), Ben Malone (voice) and Caitlin Pickering (Saxophone).
Other senior finalists included Harry Lewis (Piano), Georgia Collier (Guitar), Kirsten Walton (violin), Oscar Brown (Drum Kit), Jack Fowers (Voice) and Matthew Williams (Euphonium).
The Eddie Noble Award, kindly donated by the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, is given to the young brass player who shows dedication and commitment to musical groups at RHS. This year it was awarded to Year 8 Trombone player Amelia Lewis.
To round up a wonderful celebration of Music, Sixth Form student, George Jenkins who has shown exceptional commitment to extra-curricular music at school ,was presented with the prestigious H Lennie Award.
The Department would like to thank other teaching staff, and also the dedication and patience of our premises, administrative, catering, and reprographics teams for making the event possible. Thanks also go to our Accompanist Mr David Hall