Well, what a performance! Our students came away with an incredible clutch of accolades and trophies including the top title of ‘Young Performer of the Year’ at this year’s Oswestry Youth Music Festival.

Adcote is so proud of its talented girls and Music Director Chris Bunn. A special mention and extra congratulations goes to Hattie Candler who took the festival ‘Young Performer of the Year’ title – a truly exceptional achievement.

Hundreds of talented young singers and musicians from across Shropshire and beyond braved the snow, ice and plunging temperatures to compete in the 41st annual festival that took place between Wednesday February 28 and Sunday March 4.

With a record 450 entries it was always going to be a tough competition for the 10 Adcote girls taking part. Classes kicked off on the Wednesday with the ‘U15 Vocal duet’. Hattie Candler and Freya Moxley performed well and were awarded a Commended performance.

It was then the turn of Freya Owen and Phoebe Dimmack to sing. In a class of 18 competitors they came third. A fabulous start!

In the ‘Vocal Ensemble’ class competitors had to sing one accompanied song and one acapella. Adcote’s PlusOnes (Hattie Marsh, Emilia Blackwell, Grace Parker, Freya Moxley and Hattie Candler) gave a stellar performance and won the class with a Distinction and a trophy.

Hattie Evans battled nerves to give an impressive performance in the ‘Vocal Solo set piece’ class. And in the ‘15 & under Music Theatre’ class Hattie Candler sang ‘Born to Entertain’ and was awarded a Commended by the judges.

All the girls performed well in the instrumental class on Thursday. Olivia Dyer, Katie Richards and Rosina Relf were all awarded Merits in a very competitive field.

In vocal classes, Hattie Marsh, Ruby Allen, Emilia Blackwell, Hattie Candler and Poppy Thomas all took part in one of the featured classes, the ‘12 and Under Vocal Solo class’. The winner of this class is invited to compete on the last day of the festival for the title of ‘Oswestry Festival Young Performer of the Year’. Twenty-two performers took to the stage.

All our girls sang beautifully and were awarded a Commended from the judge, apart from Hattie Candler, who won her second trophy of the festival with a superlative performance of ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ and was given a Distinction.

All girls performed well in the ‘Music Theatre Solo’ class. Emilia Blackwell achieved a ‘Highly Commended’ performance.

Due to the poor weather on Friday Adcote had to withdraw from all of the choir classes, unfortunately. On Saturday we were back in action with Seren Blackwell and Grace Edwards performing well in a myriad of classes. Seren scored a Commended in all three classes she took part in and Grace scored a Merit.

“The ‘Young Performer of the Year’ competition on Sunday brought together all the winners of the 12 & Under main classes to compete for the overall title. This meant that violinists, trumpeters, pianists and vocalists had to compete against each other. Hattie Candler held her nerves in a very high quality competition to give another brilliant performance – so brilliant, in fact, that she won the overall title of ‘Oswestry Festival Young Performer of the Year! An outstanding achievement.

A very proud Mr Bunn said: “The festival was an incredible experience for our girls. For us to have an event that enables the girls to perform in such a supportive setting, listen to other musicians and be given valuable pointers on their own performance techniques is fantastic. All our girls performed absolutely brilliantly and presented Adcote in the best possible light.

“Thank you to all the staff who helped with the festival, whether it was with logistics or preparing the girls’ performances. A special mention must go to Mrs Emma Bouyac who has worked so hard to prepare all her pupils and was there throughout the festival.”

“Massive congratulations to all the girls and Mr Bunn on some truly fantastic results against very stiff competition,” said Headmistress Mrs Browne

“A very special mention to Hattie C. My word, ‘Oswestry Festival Young Performer of the Year’. What an accolade!”