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King’s Ely Instrumentalists Of The Year Are Announced!

Published by King's Ely, Senior on Thursday 7th of March 2024

Talented musicians Lauren Booth and Julian Mak have been crowned King’s Ely’s 2024 Instrumentalists of the Year.


Students in Years 9 to 13 spent weeks battling it out in a series of heats, all vying for a place at the school’s annual Instrumental Festival Finalists’ Concert, which was held in Ely Cathedral’s beautiful South Transept.


Musicians who made the finals this year were: James Barber, William Kirkup, Thomas Strudwick, Julian Mak, Maxime Prince, Lauren Booth, Sayuri Okunushi, Samuel Trueman, Polly Casey, Ian Mak, Lily McCallum, Anna Ost, and The Aeolian Trio.


The adjudicator on the evening was musician and organist, Andrew Reid, who is Director of Music at Little St Mary’s Church, Cambridge. Andrew is former Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison Organ Builders, former Director of the Royal School of Church Music, and a previous Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral.


After much deliberation, Mr Reid announced Year 10 violinist, Julian Mak, as King’s Ely’s Years 9 to 11 Instrumentalist of the Year. Julian performed ‘Nigun from 3 pictures of Chassidic life’ by Ernest Bloch. Flautist, Lauren Booth, who is in Year 13, won the title of King’s Ely Sixth Form Instrumentalist of the Year. Lauren performed ‘Sonata in D Op.94, 1st Movement’ by Sergei Prokofiev.


Mr Neil Porter-Thaw, who is Director of Music at King’s Ely, said: “This year’s Finalists’ Concert was an incredible show of talent! Twelve individual performances were heard, as well as a piano trio and a cello duet. Mr Reid was completely taken aback by the quality and maturity of each performance, and he had a very difficult task of choosing a winner. Congratulations of course to Lauren and Julian, but well done to every single student who took part in the competition – you are all winners!”


Students who were highly commended in the competition were: Hugh Chippington (trombone), Ian Mak (piano), Gabriella Wu (drum kit), Alex Sturman (drum kit), James Allen (piano), James Allen (cello), Anna Ost (cello), Polly Casey (recorder), Danny Kim (saxophone), Harry Walker (trombone), Robert Reed (piano), Matthew Allen (violin), Dick Cheng (piano), and Thomas Strudwick (piano).


King’s Ely is renowned for its creative and holistic approach to education, and this is reflected in the school’s outstanding Visual and Performing Arts provision. Music, Drama and Theatre, Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, Photography and Dance are each embedded in the culture of King’s Ely, with vast opportunities for pupils of all abilities and aspirations.


Music is one of the reasons King’s Ely came into existence in the first place, back in 970 AD. Today, over a third of students learn a musical instrument or receive vocal tuition. From the Boy and Girl Choristers of Ely Cathedral Choir to jazz and rock bands, orchestras, and its famous all boys’ a cappella group, the King’s Barbers, the quality, range, and variety of ensembles all attest to the school’s musical pedigree.


King’s Ely’s Senior Vocal Festival Finalists’ Concert is taking place in the Cathedral on Monday, March 11th at 7pm. Tickets are free, and everyone is welcome.


Other musical events coming up at the school include ‘A Night at the Hot Club of Paris’ Recital Series Concert on the evening of Wednesday, March 13th, and King’s Ely Senior’s ‘Concerto and Choral Concert’ at Ely Cathedral on Saturday, March 23rd. For tickets or more information, please visit: www.kingsely.org/news-events/box-office/


To discover more about opportunities at King’s Ely, please call (01353) 660707, email admissions@kingsely.org or visit www.kingsely.org

King’s Ely Instrumentalists Of The Year Are Announced!  - Photo 1
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