Students compete for GDST national music prize in the Land of Song

Charlotte Clapperton (Croydon High School) and Miriam Kenedy (Blackheath High School) have been named GDST Young Vocalist and GDST Young Musician of the Year respectively.

Charlotte and Miriam were among the 39 students from 23 GDST schools and academies who showcased their musical talents at the GDST Young Musician of the Year competition.

Taking to the stage at Howell’s School, Llandaff, Cardiff, they performed in front of acclaimed judges including Oxford High School alumna and organist, harpist and conductor Anna Lapwood and Rosenna East, General Manager of Nevill Holt Opera and Putney High School alumna.

The high-level competition saw the standard of performance from all students taking part equating to ABRSM Grade VIII or above.

Miriam wowed the judges with her talented recorder playing of Vivaldi, Linde and Golland, while Charlotte’s singing of pieces by Schumann and Vaughan Williams also impressed.

Over the course of the two-day competition, the girls also learnt a newly composed piece of music, written by Blair Boyd, postgraduate at Cardiff University which they all performed together at the event’s grand finale.

Cheryl Giovannoni, CEO of the GDST said:

“At the Girls’ Day School Trust, we believe in giving all our pupils the opportunity to develop a lifelong passion for, and appreciation of music – whether that is as singers; performers and composers, technicians and discerning listeners. The musical talent displayed by everyone taking part in this year’s competition was outstanding. The GDST Young Musician of the Year competition is an excellent opportunity for students to come together and inspire each other. Taking part helps boost their confidence and skills, and is great fun!”

Sally Davis, Head of Howell’s School, said: “I was delighted to host such a magnificent celebration of the musical talent that we have in the GDST in the Great Hall at Howell’s School, Llandaff. Wales has a strong musical heritage and a reputation as the land of song, and their visit to Cardiff has given the performers an opportunity not only to flex their musical muscles, but also make connections with students from other schools, and explore our beautiful Welsh capital city.”

Anna Lapwood said, “It is incredible to see the talent displayed by all the students taking part in this year’s competition. Music is a unique opportunity for all students to have fun, explore their creativity, and also to develop crucial learning skills such as teamwork and collaboration. As a GDST alumna, it’s great to be back and part of this competition. It’s clear we have seen some future stars in the making, and it’s wonderful that they have the opportunity to experience competing and performing at this early stage in their careers.”