Prizewinners' Concert at Hylands School
This annual festival of music and drama has now clocked up fifty-one years in the County Town, and this sampler concert gave some flavour of the breadth and quality of the entries.
Max Saunders gave a strikingly emotional monologue – a young American making an impassioned, frustrated phone call home to Mum. And Lucy Aitchison contributed an amusing recital of an Ahlberg poem.
Musically, the highlights included Emma Harris, a tiny violinist playing Bach with amazing tone and confidence, and Anthony Williams' toe-tapping Cream Soda piano solo.
The young vocalist Abbie Ward sang, unamplified, with a simple piano accompaniment, the Alan Menken Disney classic Colours of the Wind. Pure magic.
The evening began with Chelmsford Young Strings – a training orchestra for primary age performers – and ended with Elm Green School choir with the Snoopy anthem Just One Person.
The guest speaker was Peter Cross, whose long career has been built on inspiring young musicians. He reminded winners, performers and supporters of the importance of celebrating live music, and urged everyone to get practising for 2012 !