National Children’s Brass Band 2023 Summer Course

Over the summer break, Year 10 trombone and baritone horn player Skye attended the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain (NCBBGB) 2023 course – which marked her final year with the band as she has reached graduation age. She was appointed Principal Baritone for the 4th year in a row, a particular honour this year as the band’s 2023 Musical Director Marieka Gray was also a baritone player. After a week-long course at Wymondham College in Norfolk the band gave their end of course performance at The Halls, Norwich, featuring percussion soloist Simone Rebello. The programme was rich and diverse, including works by Gordon Jacobs, Peter Graham and Richard Phillips, as well as James Anderson, Nate Chivers and Jerry Herman to name but a few.

Skye and the NCBBGB will be performing again at Symphony Hall, Birmingham on Sunday 10th September as part of the brass band British Open, immediately prior to the Gala Concert.

Our congratulations to Skye on the many achievements of this summer with the NCBBGB.

Purcell Trumpeter Attends British Army Music Summer Academy

During the summer holidays, Year 11 trumpeter Rhys attended the Royal Corps of Army Music’s Summer Academy. With over 100 applications for just 40 places he was thrilled to be selected. Based at St Omer Barracks, Aldershot for a week, the course attendees experienced the life of an army musician. They took part in rehearsals alongside the British Army Band Sandhurst, had opportunities to find out about the army audition process and perform as soloists in front of the rest of the academy. They were also taken to the Purbright Assessment Centre where they took part in physical exercises, and attended Wellington Barracks in London to watch Changing of the Guard from behind the scenes before being put through their paces in a parade workshop alongside the Grenadier Guards. The course culminated with a concert at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead, where Rhys was a member of the fanfare team opening the concert.

What a fantastic experience for Rhys – a summer very well spent!

Alumna Wins 2023 Clara Haskil Competition

All at Purcell were delighted to hear last week that pianist and alumnus Magdalene Ho had won the prestigious 29th Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Vevey.

Magdalene, who was the youngest of the three finalists, triumphed with Beethoven’s Concerto no.4 in G major op.58, taking not only the competition’s Grand Prize but also the Public Prize, the Coup de Coeur de la Jeune Critique Prize and the Children’s Corner Prize.

Magdalene studied at The Purcell School from 2013 for 2022 under Patsy Toh.

Heartfelt congratulations to Magdalene!