The winners of the 2021 Geneva Heritage Cornet International Slow Melody Competition have been announced by its musical inspirational Phillip McCann.
The legendary cornet virtuoso led the announcements of the trio of players in the three categories who will enjoy a masterclass with Carlton Main Frickley principal cornet Kirsty Abbotts and himself in the future, as well as the name of the overall winner of a brand new Geneva Heritage Cornet — developed by Phillip to help performers produce that silky, 'singing' tonality that makes the classic traditional cornet sound.
In addition there was a special prize announcement for the youngest player who took part in the competition (so check out the end of the video).
Speaking about the standard of cornet playing heard from over 80 performers from across the brass band world, Phillip said; "We were absolutely amazed by the entry,"who he said "were brave enough — as it does take a lot of courage to record yourself playing".
He added: "Although it was a competition it really was more a festival of cornet playing."
Phillip also thanked the teachers and family support behind the scenes whose own inspirational work "came through"in each performance in "ticking all the right boxes"of good basic production, attention to detail, phrasing and musicianship.
In reviewing the 12 Years & Under category he said, "I applaud immensely the standard of these youngest players — which was just incredible." Meanwhile, Kirsty was "impressed by the choice of solos"and especially the "good cornet sounds that were produced".
The 13-15 Years of Age category also saw an "amazing choice of repertoire"- from opera to folk and original music, whilst he also saw the "development and maturity"that was certainly on show in the 16-18 Years of Age category.
Here Phillip said: "The emotional experiences in your life you can pull on or tag into when you are performing — you can use those emotions to project in your performances. It will help to project your personality through your sound — which is the objective of all of it."
And in revealing the identity of the overall winner who will be presented with the Geneva Heritage Cornet, he said: "It was wonderful playing."
Overall he added: "Two things above all. Try and master the breathing technique and study the embouchure principals. Working together they are the true foundation to build on as the source of your sound."
Geneva Group Managing Director Tim Oldroyd was certainly delighted by the response to the competition and took the opportunity to thank both Phillip and Kirsty for their efforts. "What has come out of this has been the youngsters coming through — so I think we are in pretty safe hands.
It was extremely encouraging, and it's been a great success. We hope to be able to do this annually."
It was extremely encouraging, and it's been a great success. We hope to be able to do this annuallyGeneva Group CEO, Tim Oldroyd
12 & Under Masterclass Winners:
Michael plays for Spennymoor Town Band as well as Houghton Area Youth Band and the National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain
Leo plays in the 2nd Rossendale Scout Band, located in Bacup, Lancashire
Annie is principal cornet of Foden's Junior Band and who also plays in Warrington West Concert Band
The Special Prize for the Youngest Player:
Ivy Pannell who plays for Haverhill Youth and Community Band in Suffolk.
13-15 Masterclass Winners:
Stephanie plays cornet with Northop Brass in north Wales, and who is also a member of the Theatr Clwyd Music County Big Band (formerly known as the Flintshire Music Service County Big Band) based in Flintshire.
Ciaran plays in the Manor High School, Oadby (Leics) School Orchestra, Kibworth Centenary Brass Band, Kibworth Centeneray Brass Youth Band, the NEMBA (North East Midlands Brass Association) Band, National Children's Band and National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
Isobel has been a member of the Emley Band based in Emley, Huddersfield for just over a year, as well as playing for the Skelmanthorpe Training Band since she was 10 years of age.
16-18 Masterclass Winners:
Lea plays for Camborne Town Band, the Cornwall Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
Megan is from Exeter and plays for the SW Comms Band and is also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
Luke is from the north Cotswolds and plays for Flowers Band. He is also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and a former principal cornet of the National Childrens Band of Great Britain.
Overall Winner of the Geneva Heritage Cornet International Slow Melody Competition: