Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!

Senior Concerto Competition

The Senior Concerto Competition category rounds were held last week, and we were treated to fantastic performances by students in years 11, 12 and 13. The eminent guest adjudicators were the international solo violinist Tasmin Little; concert pianist, and deputy Head of Piano at the RCM, Ian Jones; and Richard Benjafield, Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the Guildhall. It is a remarkable achievement to play any full solo concerto while still at school, and to hear 14 of them played so convincingly was wonderful. The Grand Final will be on Sunday 24th April, when the following students will take part. Two of them will be chosen to perform with the orchestra next year.

Henrietta, Year 12 (Winner, Strings): Khachaturian Violin Concerto
Tianao, Year 13: Haydn Cello Concerto in D
Magdalene, Year 13 (Winner, Piano): Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 in G
Thomas, Year 12: Shostakovich Piano Concerto no 2
Beste, Year 13 (Winner, Wind, Brass, Voice, Percussion): Séjourné Concerto for Marimba

Special thanks to Purcell’s Accompanists Daniel Swain and Debbie Shah for all their work, rehearsing with the students and performing so many complex orchestral accompaniments.

North London Festival of Music, Speech and Drama

Year 13 singer Carolyn took part in the North London Festival of Music, Speech and Drama Singing Competition on Thursday 17th March, and we were delighted to hear that she won the 1st prize in the song recital programme on the day. Carolyn studies at Purcell with Tom Marandola. Our congratulations!

Purcell Pianist Performs in Bahrain

By the time this edition of the Weekly Highlights has been published, Year 11 pianist Momo will have performed in one of two concerts he is taking part in this week in Bahrain. The first was on Thursday 24th March at the Palace of the King of Bahrain, and the second will take place in a matter of hours (Friday 25th March) at the National Theatre. Momo studies at Purcell under Tessa Nicholson, and we all wish him the very best of luck with these exciting performances.

Purcell Jazz Pianist hits 100M on YouTube

Prior to joining Purcell in 2020, Year 10 jazz pianist Cole created his own arrangements of songs for piano and played them for the public on street pianos. These performances were recorded and posted on YouTube, with one proving to be a firm favourite. In fact, the July 2019 video of Cole playing Bohemian Rhapsody at London’s St Pancras station has just this week hit 100 million views!

Congratulations, Cole, what a milestone!


Awards for Young Musicians Donor Event

On Tuesday 22nd March, Year 8 pianist Celeste played Chopin’s Scherzo No. 1 in B minor at Lauderdale House, Highgate. The concert was a donor event organised by AYM (Awards for Young Musicians) which supports talented young people from low income families.