The final of the AESS Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition took place at Trinity College of Music on Wednesday 16th May at 6.00pm. The AESS is very grateful to Linda Hirst and Stephen Chamberlain for all their help with the provision of rooms and organisation of the final and of the preliminary round. The entry was the biggest ever, nearly thirty singers from the four main London Colleges, the Royal Scootish Academy, the Royal Northern College and Birmingham Conservatoire plus some students of members.
Stephen Varcoe, Sarah Leonard and Michael Pilkington gave their services and selected six finalists over the previous two Sundays. They were joined by 1995 winner James Rutherford and actress Stephanie Turner for the final, who again came for expenses only. The AESS is most grateful to them all.
The winner of the £1000 first prize was Rhona McKail from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her theme was ‘ A woman’s life and love’.
The runner -up was Emily-Jane Thomas who won £500, also from the Guildhall. Her theme was ‘Animals’ Sara Lawson from the Royal Northern College of Music was third with a programme entitled ‘To everything there is a season’. She won £250 as did her accompanist Jonathan Fisher for his playing. The judges were most impressed by the way the three winners in particular, combined song, prose, poetry and spoken introduction to enhance the seamless performance of their chosen themes.