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The AMC returns

Despite the delay, the Annual Music Competition will continue to support young musicians from around the Commonwealth

After a break of seven months, we were pleased to be able to complete the section finals of the ROSL Annual Music Competition at the start of October. Like so many industries, the arts have suffered during the Covid period and we felt strongly that we should try to finish this year’s competition and launch our 2021 competition in order to continue our aim of supporting young professional musicians at the start of their careers.

The mixed ensembles final on the 6 October included a tango group, a trombone quartet, a saxophone, violin and piano trio, and a wind quintet and all performances were exceptional. In the end, trombone quartet Slide Action took both the main award as well as the Philip Jones Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Brass Ensemble. In a unique twist, the group performed in matching boilers suits, telling the audience they had decided to adopt the new uniform in case they needed to retrain! Given the level of musicianship and technique of these exceptional young musicians, we hope not, and ROSL looks forward to supporting them further in the future.

The arts have suffered during the Covid period and we felt strongly we should try to finish

On the following Tuesday, we held the final of our Overseas Awards, again in the Princess Alexandra Hall with a small socially distanced audience. Our first ever Annual Music Competition in 1952 was won by Australian pianist Geoffrey Parsons, and our musical Commonwealth links have remained strong ever since. This final showcased the talents of three performers, Australian soprano Alexandra Flood, New Zealand violist Julie Park and Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean. We were pleased to be able to offer awards to all three performers, with Lotte Betts-Dean winning the main Overseas Award, with an eclectic programme of 20th- century song. Two of the three pianists on the evening were also Australian, and also former ROSL winners, Chad Vindin and Joseph Havlat – so it was a true showcase of the talent ROSL identifies and supports!

At the time of writing, the Gold Medal Final had not yet taken place. Look out for a full interview with the winner in the next issue.

We now look forward to our 69th Annual Music Competition, which will start in February 2021, and are grateful to the ROSL Trust and continued donations from members who help to make our vital support for these exceptional young musicians possible.