The final of the Catherine Lambert Junior Recital Prize was held in the Peacock Room of Trinity College of Music on Sunday 25th November. Preliminary rounds had been held one week earlier at Chetham’s School in Manchester, judged by Caroline Crawshaw and Patrick McGuigan and at the home of Judy and Mike Hildesley in Barnes, judged by Pat Williams and Lesley Cooper. The seven finalists presented ‘themed’ recitals of poetry and art song and the winner was Harriet Eyley who is a pupil of Coral Gould and studies at the Birmingham Junior Conservatoire. Rhyanne Acott, a pupil of Veronica Campbell at the Junior Royal College of Music was the runner-up and Jessica Hughes, also of the Royal College, a pupil of Liza Hobbs, was third. The judges were Teresa Cahill and Catherine Lambert. Thanks are due to all the judges who gave their time and expertise without charge.
During the deliberations of the judges the sizeable audience were entertained by the Junior Trinity Barbershop Group directed by Mark Griffiths. They gave a most polished performance of songs and piano pieces. Marion Friend, Director of Junior Trinity deserves much thanks for organising this and helping with the procuring of Trinity College as a venue for the event. So too does Carolyn Richards, our AESS co-ordinator for all the voluntary work she puts in from the moment entries close at the end of October until the final and beyond.
It is gratifying to know that the Junior Prize is gathering support from all the major colleges and specialist schools and it is to be hoped that the final can become regional in time. Both AESS competitions are now on a firm financial footing thanks to the generosity of Patricia Routledge for the seniors and Catherine Lambert and Coral Gould for the juniors.
The day of the final was also Catherine’s 89th !!! birthday. A cake had been made and decorated especially, as a gift from the Association and all the competitors and the audience enjoyed a piece at the end of the afternoon after singing a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday’.