There was success for Oswestry schools at the recent Oswestry Youth Music Festival.

Moreton Hall’s music department celebrated a record number of prize winners at the festival.

The range of age groups and categories was diverse, from junior school age through to Sixth Form; from successes in the musical theatre class through to ensembles, chamber choir, piano solos and duets, vocal solos to drums.

“Moreton Sixth pupils, Georgina Lang, and Morgan-Darcy Rees-Deacon’s recent triumphs are prime examples of what Moreton is able to produce in a nurturing and encouraging environment such as the music department,“ said director of music, Helen Rayner.

Georgina, who has been offered a place at Oxford in September to read Computer Science and Philosophy successfully won the 18 and under piano solo set piece.

Morgan-Darcy became not only the winner of the 21 and under vocal solo class, beating students already studying at music college, but was also crowned Oswestry Music Festival's senior prize winner and was awarded the prestigious Oswestry Town Council Cup.

Reflecting on the day and on her musical journey, Morgan-Darcy said: “I could not have done it if it were not for the continuous encouragement and support I’ve received from the music department all day, every day for the past nine years - not only concerning music endeavours but all of my other commitments and subjects too. The confidence it gives me is unexplainable and allows me to give my all in everything I do."

Both Georgina and Morgan-Darcy started in Moreton First, Moreton Hall's prep school, and have been stalwarts of the music department ever since. Now, in their final year of Moreton Hall, they look forward to a life time of music making.

Georgina added: “Performances are always the highlight of playing an instrument. Hours spent on technical details and perfecting the piece with the help of the music department and my wonderful piano teacher, Mrs Platts, seems all the more worth it when you can share the music you love and create with other people.

"In a competition of such high quality like the Oswestry Festival you get the added delight of hearing other incredible performers as well, and discovering new pieces. The competitive edge and chance to win is just the cherry on the top.”

This year also saw record numbers of pupils from Bellan House and Oswestry School entered into the Oswestry Youth Music Festival. 

Forty-two boys and girls from the Prep Department made themselves heard by means of a variety of instruments and voices while a strong contingent from the senior school did the same.  From these entries the children achieved an outstanding 12 First Place awards across a variety of disciplines.

Year four pupils Scarlett Forbes (flute), Akaash Das (singing), Oscar Polden (drums) and Theo Woodman (piano) all received Firsts. 

In Year five pupils Wang Qi (violin) and Freddie Heasmer-Jones (piano) also received Firsts along with First Form pupil Harris Morgan-Booth (piano).  Wang Qi, Freddie and Harris went on to perform in the Finals Concert at Christchurch on Sunday, March 4. 

Sixth Form pupil Tom Barnes won the Cherrington Award for Musical Excellence.  This is a floating award given to any competitor that the committee think deserve recognition and was awarded for commitment to the concerts over the years, for outstanding effort, the passion that Tom puts into his performance and for generally capturing the spirit of the festival.

Success also came to the Bellan House ensembles.  Bellan Blowers (recorder ensemble) scooped first place and a merit along with the Henry Pelham Memorial Cup, Bellan Gigglers (string trio) placed second in the brass, woodwind and string ensemble class while Bellan Players (brass ensemble) came third in the same class.

In the Youth Choir competition first went to the Bellan House Year 5/6 choir and Second to the Year 3/4 choir while brothers Freddie and Bertie Heasmer-Jones placed First in the piano duet.