Young Singers Earn Starring Role in Festival

The Second Grove Park Music Festival Singing Competition


Sally Burgess congratulating the 13-15 age group winner Jessica Hughes

Ian Partridge with Alexia Prakas the winner of the 16-18 age group (left of picture in blue) and runner up Claudia Haberberg.

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The second Singing Competition organised by the Grove Park Music Festival took place at St Michael's Church Hall, Elmwood Road, Chiswick, on Sunday March 7th.

Two years ago the first competition attracted about 20 entrants; this year over 40 pupils from about 18 local schools took part, more or less equally divided between the contest's two age groups. Chris Glynn was an expert, hugely supportive accompanist, and an enthusiastic audience heard a wide range of music from the baroque to the 20th century, Handel, Haydn and Schubert being the singers' most popular choices. The Festival's artistic director, Julie Kennard, commented how heartening it was to see so many young people who obviously care about good music. Standards of singing were high, and the distinguished judges, singers Sally Burgess and Ian Partridge, had a difficult task selecting the winners.

First prize, record tokens kindly donated by the Kensington Music Shop, in the 13-15 year class was won by Jessica Hughes from Lady Margaret School, Fulham, with Flaviana Preston of Notting Hill & Ealing High School as runner-up. Three singers were also highly commended: Natasha Neale ( St Paul's Girls School), Naomi Martin ( Lady Eleanor Holles School) and Gina Walter (St James's School).

In the 16-18-year class, the prize winners were Alexia Prakas ( Godolphin & Latymer School) and Claudia Haberberg ( More House School); those highly commended were Patrick Sutton Coulson ( Hampton School), Lucy Crehan, also from St James's, and Zoe De Toledo, another pupil at St Paul's.

In addition to the prizes they received on the day, the two first-prize winners have been invited to participate in the third Grove Park Music Festival, in a concert to include a piece written for the occasion by Chiswick composer Graham Preskett. The Festival takes place in local churches from June 25th to July 4th. Further details can be obtained by ringing 020-8995-5058 or 020-8994-5090

The Box Office opens on 24 th May 2004 : 07796690908.

April 30, 2004