A message from our new Chair, Mary Anderson
I am honoured to be taking over as Chair of the Competition, building on all the good work of Dr Chris Storr, who has resigned after more than 16 years at the helm.
We were delighted with the success of this year’s Competition, held in the beautiful surroundings of Mayfield School for the second time, during a week of glorious Spring weather. We are immensely grateful to Antonia Beary, Headmistress and Tony Bayliss, Bursar and their staff for the warm welcome and all the help they gave to ensure the Competition ran smoothly.
The standard of the 66 competitors was immensely high, pleasing our audience and impressing the panel of judges. The overall winner, Toby Hughes, thrilled us by playing the double bass in a way none of us had heard before. He not only won the Strings Section prize and the overall Hans Romney prize, but also completed the hat trick by winning the audience prize.
Thanks must go to the many people who enabled this year’s Competition to happen – our generous sponsors, Patrons and Friends and the army of volunteers involved during the Competition week, ranging from hosts, stewards and presidents to reception staff and page turners. The members of the Council of management worked throughout the two year period between Competitions to prepare for the week of the Competition. I would particularly like to thank our outgoing Chairman, Dr Chris Storr, Finance Director, Tom Guy and Entries Co-ordinator, Margaret Morgan who have all done so much to establish the Competition on a sound footing in recent years. They are leaving the Council, but joining the Advisory Board. We have an excellent new team on the Council, already starting to look ahead to 2020 which will mark 40 years since the first Competition in 1979.
Feedback from the judges was extremely positive. Speaking on behalf of the whole panel, Levon Chilingirian said that they had found the standard of music played impressively high.The panel said they would be happy to act as ambassadors for the Competition which gives such valuable experience at a critical stage in the lives of the young instrumentalists.
Many members of the audience have written to say how much they had enjoyed the music they had heard and how impressed they were. The Mayfield pupils who were able to listen to some of the sessions have reported that they found it really inspiring – it is hoped many more of them will have the opportunity to listen to future Competitions.
Most importantly, the competitors themselves indicated that they had enjoyed the Competition – “an enjoyable and educative time”, “stressful but to be remembered fondly”, and “really personal, kind and responsive”.
Recital Opportunities for the prize winners are valued very highly and we continue to endeavour to expand the number of opportunities we can offer. Please do try to attend some of the recitals which will be given by our prize winners over the coming two years. Those dates already confirmed are as follows:
22nd September 2018 at 7.30pm Ryan Drucker (piano section winner 2018) will play at St Wilfrid’s Church Haywards Heath by invitation of Haywards Heath Music Society. St Martin in the Fields lunchtime recitals – at 1.0pm (entrance free) give an exciting opportunity to play in a beautiful and historic London location to each of the Section winners.
This years dates are as follows:
- 5th November 2018 Toby Hughes Double Bass
- 6th November 2018 Ryan Drucker Piano
- 7th November 2018 Matt Glendening Clarinet
Tonbridge Philharmonic Society and the Mayfield Festival will be featuring Concerto performances by our Competition winner, Toby Hughes in 2020. The Sutton Valence and Crowborough music societies will also feature prize winners in their forthcoming programmes – so do keep an eye on their websites.
Those who heard 2016 winner, Amalia Hall violin, in the Mendelssohn concert which opened this year’s Mayfield Festival, or the Nielsen flute concerto played by Matthew Higham, wind section winner 2016, with the Tonbridge Philharmonic will know how thrilling it is to witness the development of our brilliant young competitors after their Competition success.
Fundraising events are being organised during the two year period before the next Competition. The first is an exciting prospect – on 2nd March 2019 a recital will be given by Toby Hughes, double bass, Competition winner 2018 at a soiree at Manor Grange, the beautiful home of Mary Anderson and Harry Trusted.
An Antiques valuation and auction, another Wine Tasting event with Guy Boursot and further recitals are also being planned. If you would like to become involved with fundraising – or could offer a venue – please contact Kate Sander (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The next Competition
The next Competition, to be held 30th April – 4th May 2020, will be a special one, marking 40 years since the inception of the Competition. As the Competition developed during those forty years, we have been privileged to hear many musicians at the very start of their professional careers who have gone on to global fame. We are proud to know that success in our Competition has helped to propel them forward in what is such a tough and demanding life. Please put the dates for 2020 in your diaries – to have the chance of being among the first to spot the rising talents of the next generation.
2020 will also be the 50th Anniversary for the Mayfield Festival! We congratulate our partner organisation, knowing that Mayfield has such a strong tradition of attracting celebrated and talented musicians and actors to perform during the three weeks of a Festival with a strong and growing reputation. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Festival, a Composer Competition is to be held to compose the “Cantata of St Dunstan’’. The closing date is 31st July 2018 and full details may be found on the Mayfield Festival website.
Getting involved with the Competition can take many different forms – and all are invaluable!
If you have not done so already, please do sign up as a Friend of the Competition or consider a larger donation as a Patron. There are many tasks to do and roles to fill during the week of the Competition and in the lead up panning stages, too. To get involved, contact Mary Anderson (email@example.com).