Category Archives: Music Things

Mrs Sunderland Competition 2018

February heralds the start of the Mrs Sunderland Festival here in Huddersfield. I have been a keen supporter of the festival over 25 years or so and usually have several pupils competing in several classes each year. A lot of the classes are big and there is strong competition. I am thrilled and proud of how my pupils have done but especially how they have conducted themselves.

The results of the Ensemble classes and Vocal classes are listed on the pupil’s page with the flute ones to be updated later in the week after their classes

Music College Auditions

Recently Imogen has done her auditions for music college. It is a stressful time and she had a HUGE amount of work to do to prepare for them. Some colleges have set pieces, some don’t, some test scales, some don’t.

The one thing for sure is that as a flautist, it is highly competitive.

Imogen decided she was going to apply to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Guildhall School of Music, The Royal Northern College of Music the Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music.

As a teacher, it is very difficult to not push your student towards a certain college, but I said absolutely nothing and thought I’d wait to see what happened after the auditions were completed.

Her first audition was a Birmingham and within 3 days, she heard not only had she been offered a place, she was being offered a scholarship. Could we have asked for a better start?

The next lot of auditions came thick and fast as did the offers! As Trinity would have been her 5th choice and was scheduled as her last audition and already having two offers, she would decline the audition so she could concentrate on her Diploma that she was taking 5 days after her last audition.

Imogen did 4 auditions and was offered 4 places and not only that had two very generous scholarship offers too.

After her Guildhall audition, I could tell she was leaning more towards there as her first choice, I was thrilled as this is where I really wanted her to go and the flute department is outstanding as is the college.

So in September 2018, Imogen will be studying in London at the Guildhall School of Music on a scholarship. I am sure she will have a brilliant time and will grab every opportunity with both hands and I cannot wait to see how she develops as a flute player and musician.



Haydn Wood Festival 2017

The Haydn Wood Festival took place on 17th/18th November 2017.

Congratulations to everyone who took part on your performances and to those of you who were awarded places and prizes.

The results are as follows:

Songs from Shows ages 15 – 21

2nd Grace Douthwaite

Woodwind Solo 15 years & under

2nd Angela Wang

3rd Hannah Quinn

Woodwind Solo Open

1st Imogen Davey

2nd Angela Wang

Recital Class Open

1st Emily Watson

Congratulations to Imogen for being awarded the Robert Clark Trophy for the highest mark in the Woodwind Solo Classes, The Kirklees Leisure Services Trophy for the highest mark of the festival and The Haydn Wood Trophy for the highest mark of the festival of a Colne Valley resident.

Congratulations to Emily for the superb result in the Open Age Recital Class.  Emily has never performed a recital before and in a big class with much older and experienced musicians, it really is an impressive achievement.

National Ensemble Auditions 2017

Following auditions in October and November I am thrilled to announce that all 5 of my flute pupils who auditioned have been successful and have been offered places for 2018.

Sammy Johnson and Angela Wang have been offered places  in The National Children’s Wind Orchestra.

Emily Watson has been offered one of two places in The National Children’s Chamber Orchestra.

Ben Mullins has been offered a place in The National Youth Wind Ensemble.

Imogen Davey has been offered a place in The National Youth Chamber Orchestra.

HUGE congratulations to all 5 of you. You will have an amazing time on the course and I can’t wait to hear the concerts.


Imogen’s Success at the Galway Flute Festival

Imogen has once again taken part in the Galway Flute Festival in Weggis, Switzerland. To take part in the masterclasses you submit video recordings of your chosen pieces and then you are given in place in either Sir James Galway’s class or Lady Galway’s class. Previously Imogen has taken part in Lady Galway’s class but this year was selected  as one of 20 students to perform for Sir James.

Imogen played twice and performed the Hue Fantasie and the Burton Sonatina for Flute and Piano.

Luckily, the masterclass was broadcast live via Facebook and although the feed wasn’t always great, it was so good, although nerve wracking to watch her perform.

Imogen played really well and performed both her pieces superbly well.

After the week of concerts, masterclasses and ensemble playing Imogen was awarded a Solid Silver Haynes Headjoint with a 18k Gold Riser as one of the three headjoint prizewinners as the  festival.


I’m always proud of all of my student’s achievements, but Imogen has really done some outstanding work over many, many years and this last year has been superb,  her achievments include her being awarded 1st place in the Kirklees Young Musician and Principal Flute of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra but this is is up there with these and all her many other successes.

Now onto working towards her music college auditions!


Diploma Success

Huge congratulations to Ben Mullins who took his ARSM Diploma in Flute recently and achieved a mark of 47/50 for his performance of his chosen programme of Sonata in f minor by Telemann, Out of the Cool by Dave  Heath and Sonata for Flute and Piano by Poulenc.

A very impressive mark! Well Done.

Huge congratulations to Guylaine Eckersley on being awarded her DipLCM Diploma with a mark of 90%, a Distinction. Guylaine performed her programme of Sonata in f minor by Telemann, Romance by Saint-Saens and Sunstreams by Ian Clarke. As well as this, she had to do sight-reading and a viva voce to prove her knowledge about the composers, pieces and her performance.

A very impresssive result and even more so for someone who is a 1st Study bassoonist. Good luck to Guylaine as she pursues her musical career at the Royal Academy of Music in London in September on a full scholarship.

Well done to you both!

The Flutewise/ABRSM competition update

Les Six Flute Ensemble have made it through to the final of the Flutewise/ABRSM competition final in the School Age Category.

To say I am thrilled, would be a massive understatement. The six of them are great flute players and together make up a really impressive sounding ensemble. They have  worked hard on the set pieces and hope on the day they can put together a solid performance and show what they are capable of.

It will be quite daunting for the younger members of the group, playing to a room full of flute players and also being adjudicated by the composer of one of the pieces, but I am confident that they will rise to the challenge and do the best they can. Whatever the result, I am immensely proud of the effort and commitment they have all shown to the ensemble.

Les Six Flute Ensemble

We are all looking forward to the final which takes place in London at the John McIntosh Arts Centre on 16th July.

Flutewise/ABRSM Flute Choir Competition 2017.

Several months ago I saw the Flutewise/ABRSM competition announced on Facebook and thought it would be worth giving it a go with the fairly newly formed Les Six. This would actually be only the 2nd time the group had competed together. The first was in the Mrs Sunderland festival earlier in the year where they were awarded 2nd place for their performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, only just being pipped at the post one of my other ensembles The Mistral Trio and in 3rd place were the Bootham Flute trio, which are also my ensemble. So that was a good start to their ensemble performing.

When I saw this I thought it would be a great thing to do and a good opportunity for my pupils.

Unfortunately one of the “original” members isn’t able to make the final date which if we are lucky enough to get there, is 16th July down in London so we recruited the 2nd male flautist, Sammy to join us.

With one of the members and myself being based in Huddersfield, one in South Yorkshire and the others in York, rehearsals are not always straightforward and it means there is always someone travelling. I really appreciate the fact that they are all so willing to do this to rehearse.

We are also fortunate that we had the use of the amazing facilities in the Arts department at Bootham School in York for rehearsals and the recording.

The initial round is  by YouTube submission and they had to perform The Dolphin by Blaz Puchair arr by Gareth McLearnon and Walk Like This by Ian Clarke.

Please do have a look/listen to the videos there is one in the sidebar and if you click the YouTube button it will take you straight to my channel where you can see both recordings.

Thanks to the members of Les Six, Imogen, Ben, Guylaine, Emily, Ellie and Sammy and to their families for their continued support.

We will hear by 31st May if we will progress through to the final.



Kirklees Young Musician 2017

Congratulations to Imogen Davey who is the winner of this year’s Kirklees Young Musician of the Year. The competition runs as part of the Mrs Sunderland Festival and she was awarded the  JW Pearce Trust Trophy and £1000 prize money. Imogen performed her 15 minute programme of, 1st Movement Allegretto Grazioso from Sonatina for Flute and Piano by Eldin Burton, Deep Blue by Ian Clarke and Piccaroon for Piccolo and Piano by Trevor Green.

The adjudicator Marilynne Davies had the onerous job of deciding on the winner and was very complementary to Imogen on her choice of programme, her artistry and performance.

I am absolutely thrilled with and for Imogen and with her performance, she has worked very hard and the accolade is truly deserved and I was so proud of her performance both in the competition and in the final concert on Saturday night. It was amazing and so lovely that she got a standing ovation when she was awarded the trophy and her prize money.

Thank you also to everyone for their kind words via twitter, Facebook and in person. I have passed all of them onto Imogen who is absolutely thrilled and grateful for people taking their time to congratulate her on this achievement.

Photo Credit: Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

Mrs Sunderland 2017

Congratulations to all of my pupils on their excellent performances and conduct during the Mrs Sunderland festival.

The results are as follows:

Mrs Sunderland Festival 2017

Small Ensemble Class – Open

1st Mistral Trio

2nd Les Six Flute Ensemble

Disney Class 17 & over

2nd Zoe Cooke

3rd Vicki Prieditis

Music Theatre 17 & over

1st Zoe Cooke

Pop Ballad Class 14 -21

1st Isabel Hinchcliffe

Disney Class Years 8&9

2nd Ophelia Ormerod

Woodwind Solo Year 9 & under

1st Angela Wang

2nd Emily Watson

3rd Ellie Maury

Woodwind Solo Year 11 & under

1st Emily Watson

2nd Angela Wang

Woodwind Solo – Open

2nd Imogen Davey