On Friday March 24 at St Thomas’ church in Winchelsea I attended the penultimate concert in a season of six, spread over a year, and organised by Winchelsea Arts. It turned out to be a surprising treat as I wasn’t sure what to expect. Winchelsea Arts was set up to give young musicians the opportunity to play in front of an audience.
It was wonderful. Tony Ingham, pianist, who helps and plays with the students, accompanied Marie Sato on flute and Lucy Dundas on bassoon. Both young women are at the Royal College of Music Junior Department (RCMJD) which caters for students up to 18 years of age. Lucy will be leaving at the beginning of the summer as she is 18, while Marie will stay for another year as she is nearly 17. I asked Lucy what her plan was after leaving the College. She said: “I have not decided whether to follow medicine or music, of course both need dedication.”
The calibre of both young women was extraordinary with a pure, strong or gentle tone as the music demanded it, hardly breathing so the music floated unbroken into the air. In the case of the flute, having played the instrument myself, I know how difficult that is. One doesn’t hear solo bassoon often and the deep sound was beautiful. Marie Sato apart from pieces from Bach, Dutilleux and Borne played a complex flute composition which her friend Vivek Haria (also at RCMJD) wrote. I was told that Marie was a BBC finalist in last year’s competition for young musicians.
The last of this season of six concerts will be on May 20 at 7:30PM, again at St Thomas’ Church in Winchelsea. It will feature the string quartet, comprising the leading string players from RCMJD. The concert will also include the winning entry in the Winchelsea Arts Composition Competition, this year run in collaboration with RCMJD.
If you would like more information please go to: www.winchelsea-arts.org.uk
Photos: Heidi Foster