Feb 012017
 
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A Musical Delight

Competitors from across the GCC arrived in Bahrain on Monday 23 January ahead of the 18th Bahrain edition of the BSME Young Musicians of the Gulf. This year, 136 students from seven schools from across the region took part including The British School Al Khubairat, British School Kuwait, Doha British School, Dubai College, Jumeirah College, Sharjah English School and St Christopher’s School, with Dhahran British Grammar School also attending as guests.

This year’s adjudicators Zoe Martlew, Tansy Davies and Ashley Wass (lead adjudicator), all flew into Bahrain from London, and commented on the level of inspiring performances and support they witnessed between all the contestants.

The Solo Instrumental preliminary heats took place on Monday 23 January at the Senior School campus in Isa Town. Following deliberation, thirty five of the participants progressed to the next stage of the competition. The Solo Vocal preliminary heats took place on Tuesday 24 January – the adjudicators had the very difficult task of deciding who should progress to the Semi-Final and fifteen vocalists and instrumentalists were selected to go through. The Ensemble Rounds were held at the St Christopher’s Saar Campus on Wednesday 25 January, with three being selected to go through to the final.

The grand finale came to a spectacular close at the Sofitel Hotel, Zallaq on 26 January, and the Finalists were (according to running order for the Grand Final):

1) Isobel Snass – Dubai College (Voice)

  1. Clair de lune by Gabriel Fauré
  2. The Girl in 14G by Dick Scanlan & Jeanine Tesori

2) Haiwei Li – British School Kuwait (Piano)

  1. Fantasia in D Minor
  2. Hundreds of Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix by Wang Jing-Zhong

3) Xiaolin Zhang – Dubai College (Piano)

  1. Fantaisie-Impromptu in C# Minor Op.66 by Frédéric Chopin
  2. Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14 by Felix Mendelssohn

4) Isobel Thompson – Dubai College (Saxophone)

  1. Sonata in G Minor, 2nd & 3rd Movements by J. S. Bach
  2. Sonatine Suportive 3rd Movement by Alexandre Tcherepnine

5) Shahmir Samee – Dubai College (Flute)

  1. Beverley by Ian Clarke
  2. Touching the Ether by Ian Clarke
  3. Tambourin by Françoise-Joseph Gossec

6) William Lumsdon – Dubai College (Saxophone)

  1. Fantaisie-Impromptu by André Jolivet
  2. Eastcoast Mainline by James Rae

7) Lucy Adams – Dubai College (Voice)

  1. Dido’s Lament by Henry Purcell
  2. What Good Would The Moon Be? from Street Scene by Kurt Weill
  3. Pulled from The Addams Family Musical by Andrew Lippa  

ENSEMBLES

1) La Camerata – British School Kuwait

La Bella Cubana by Jose White

2) Flute, Cello & Piano Trio – St Christopher’s School

Sonate en Concert by Jean-Michel Damase

3) Jawhara – St Christopher’s School

Temen Oblak by Christopher Tin

After spectacular performances from all the finalists, Haiwei from The British School of Kuwait wowed both the judges and the audience with his Piano performance, and was crowned Young Musician of the Gulf 2017, the Lifetime Trophy was awarded by H.E. Simon Martin CMG, British Ambassador. The Stella Taylor Shield (donated by Captain Rod Taylor), was awarded to Haiwei by Mr Simon Taylor.

The Young Musicians of the Gulf 2016 Runner Up was, Isabel Snaas from Dubai College. The Runner-Up: Lifetime Trophy was awarded to Isabel by Ms Aimee Cutrona, Charge d’affairs, US Embassy.

The YMOG 2017 Overall Ensemble Winner was St Christopher’s School Jawahra, and this was awarded by H.E. Simon Martin CMG, British Ambassador.

St Christopher’s School Students made us all very proud by winning awards in the following categories:

Duet & Trio Ensemble Award, Flute, Cello & Piano Trio – awarded by Mr Ed Goodwin OBE, Principal of St Christopher’s School & Chairman of BSME

Vocal Ensemble Award, Jawhara – awarded by Mr Sami Boukhaled, General Manager, Sofitel

Brass Award, Zoe Lascelles-Lloyd – awarded by Mr Ed Goodwin OBE, Principal of St Christopher’s School & Chairman of BSME

Owerkowicz Bequest:  Most promising Bahrain-based musician, Mohamed Alnajjar -awarded by Ahlam Al Aamer, Ministry of Education

The remaining results were as follows:

Finalist Award, presented to all 6 solo finalists – awarded by H.E. Simon Martin CMG, British Ambassador

Large Ensemble Award, La Camerata, British School Kuwait – awarded by Mr Sami Boukhaled, General Manager, Sofitel

Plucked String Award, Tom Jarvis, Dubai College – awarded by Mr Sami Boukhaled, General Manager, Sofitel

Bowed String Award, Haiwei Li, The British School of Kuwait – awarded by Mr Usman Ahmed, CEO, Citibank

Male Vocal Award, Siddhant Pillai, Doha College – awarded by Mr Usman Ahmed, CEO, Citibank

Female Vocal Award, Isabel Snaas, Dubai College – awarded by Ms Aimee Cutrona, Charge d’affairs, US Embassy)

Woodwind Award, William Lumsdon, Dubai College – awarded by Mr Ed Goodwin OBE, Principal of St Christopher’s School & Chairman of BSME

Piano Award, Xiaolin Zhang, Dubai College – awarded by Maureen Stephenson, Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors

Knights Bequest: most promising musician 15 years or younger, Xiaolin Zhang, Dubai College – awarded by Maureen Stephenson, Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors

Young Composer of the Gulf 2017, Mian Shahmir Samee, Dubai College – awarded by Mr Usman Ahmed, CEO, Citibank

The competition could not have been such a success without our sponsors and supporters, and is indebted to its three largest sponsors: Euromotors, Citibank and Ambassador Stores. A huge thanks must also go to Etihad Airlines and Gulf Air for sponsoring the Adjudicator’s flights. We are also very grateful to our hospitality sponsors, Sofitel, and our supporters, Kanoo Travel, Alosra, Arabesque Gallery and Singapore Flowers.

For more information, please visit the website: http://bsmeymog.weebly.com/