Another day and another competition (it must be competition season!) and today we headed to Bristol. I first heard about the competition as a result of sending my report to the local organ association. The organ classes were held in St Augustines Chapel which is the St Monica’s Trust grounds. It’s very beautiful inside.
There were four classes today followed by a masterclass with the adjudicator James Parsons. Two classes were for 17 years and under and two for 18 years and over. In both cases one class was a piece by Bach and the other class was repertoire, but just the one piece. Comfortable with my pieces from last night I’d entered the same.
The organ is a Father Willis, 3 manual with limited settings but delightful to play. Apparently it used to be in private house before being moved to its present home.
For Bach there were 6 of us in the class from 13 years to 17. I felt better than yesterday because we were all a similar age, but we were a wide range of levels and experience. This is a recording from the rehearsal time I had at lunchtime.
Mummy said I’d never played the piece better than during the competition. It felt good and I felt I had plenty of rubato during it. However there was some other really impressive playing. None the less I was thrilled to win the class with outstanding. I was truly speechless following last night!
In the second class there were 7 of us playing. Being repertoire there was a wide range of pieces, some familiar and some less so. Again there was some outstanding playing. I was pleased with my playing, the icing on the cake from the comments, would have been if I’d not slowed down towards the end when the pedal takes over. I’ve always slowed there and rather like it, James says it is all down to taste. Otherwise he really liked it, so much so I was awarded a distinction and placed third, which I was delighted with.
All in all it’s been one sensational music making couple of the days. I’m feeling so much more confident in my playing and ability and am starting to believe maybe my dream might come true!
Thank you to Bristol Eisteddfod for organising a great event. Apparently it’s the highest number of entries they’ve had for organ classes. Hopefully they’ll continue to see a growth in entries. They had a supportive audience, with many from the local organ association there and a really supportive atmosphere.