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Music Successes: An Overview by Director of Music, Steven Griffin

Our Strings Medal Winners
  • Junior School
  • Senior School

In recent weeks, we’ve had a large number of pupils taking part in various competitions with great success.

The Pipe Band, of course, have a huge number of competitions across their season, with the GWC Invitational Schools Competition and Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships being the most recent. The bands achieved some fantastic results across the board: 

Our Juvenile Band placed 2nd at both competitions with the drummers gaining 1st place at the GWC competition. Our Novice Juvenile A Band also came in 2nd place at the Scottish Schools Championships. Not to be outdone, our Novice Juvenile B Band placed 1st at the GWC Invitational, with their drummers coming 1st. The drummers also gained 1st place at the Scottish Schools Championships. Several pupils were also awarded prizes in various solo events at the GWC Invitational event. 

At the beginning of March, the Edinburgh Music Competition Festival attracted a large number of individuals and groups ranging from P3 to S6.

Amongst younger performers, Murray (P5) and Emily (P3) were 1st and 2nd in the String Solo level 2 competition, with Sean (P4) being a runner up in the Solo Strings level 3 group. Dylan (P7) won the String Solo Junior Challenge 12 and under Class, receiving the Joan Dickson Medal. Sandy (S1) won the Waddell Strings Solo competition, a particularly notable success coming in the 17 and under class. Murray (S1) also came runner up in the Wind Solo level 2 class.

Our Senior ensembles also fared very well. The Senior Guitar Group (Alex, Robert (both S5), Sophie (S4) & Rafal (S3)) were given an Excellent rating, while the Senior Recorder Trio (Henry (S6), Iona (S4) & Ben (S4)) won the U17 Woodwind Competition Class. On acknowledging the trio's success, Iona said:

“I really enjoyed the competition: the building was beautiful and everyone there was nice and welcoming. The feedback we received was very helpful and I will definitely be taking it on board for future concerts and competitions. I enjoyed listening to the other groups and it was interesting to hear different instruments and types of music being played.”

There was more success for the Senior Trio (Aurora, Sofia & Ava (all S5)) who won the Norna Dalziel Medal for under 18 Chamber Music. Aurora, Sofia and Ava were subsequently invited to perform in the Festival Highlights Concert on 12 March at St Cuthbert’s Church. The festival organisers thanked the trio for "their excellent performance", advising it was "very well received by the audience”.

Further afield, in February, Larissa (S6) won the prestigious Glasgow Grand Opera Cup. Larissa competed against a strong field in the competition which was held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her success is testament to her hard work and huge potential as a singer.

Finally, the Senior School Concert Band performed at the National Concert Band Championships in Perth on Sunday 19 March, winning their class with a Platinum Award! This is the first time the Concert Band has won this competition - a tremendous achievement!

Well done to all who have participated and represented the school in these competitions. It is a cliche to say that 'it’s the taking part that counts' but, having been denied so many opportunities to perform over recent years due to the pandemic, it really is fantastic that so many of our pupils are taking part in these performance opportunities, sharing their music-making more widely, as well as supporting our in-school events. A huge thank you to all the music teachers who make it possible for our young people to play and sing so well under performance and competition pressures.

This is just a snippet of the brilliant successes we are lucky see within our Music Department throughout the academic year and we look forward to seeing more achievements in the Summer Term.

Steven Griffin
Director of Music

  • Music
Senior Trio (Aurora, Sofia & Ava (all S5))

Senior Trio (Aurora, Sofia & Ava (all S5)).

GWC Pipes and Drums at the recent Invitational Competition

GWC Pipes and Drums at the recent Invitational Competition.

Murray (S1) with his Adjudicator's Report for Flute

Murray (S1) with his Adjudicator's Report for Flute.