Blowing our own trumpet: Clayesmore Prep Chamber Ensemble wins National Pro Corda Final

Our Prep Music ensemble are celebrating this week following victory in the U12 category at the prestigious Pro Corda National Chamber Music Competition. The competition provides a platform for celebrating the extraordinary talent and dedication to chamber music from schools and centres across the United Kingdom. The finals were a culmination of a nationwide search for young chamber music talent in British schools, and were adjudicated by the BBC’s Katie Derham. Clayesmore’s group, comprising Year 7 pupils Lily (trumpet), Louise (clarinet), Edward (clarinet), Hope (piano) and Matilda (drums), competed against 26 ensembles from 15 schools, and was one of only five prep school age ensembles.

Mrs Judy Coplan, who has coached our ensemble throughout this year’s Pro Corda competition, described the qualification as “a great honour for Clayesmore Prep School.” What makes this year’s success even more impressive is that Edward, Hope, Lily, Louise and Matilda formed their ensemble only last September so have just six months of experience of practicing and performing together. Their performance of an arrangement of ‘Wade in the Water’, proved that jazz music holds an important place within a predominantly classical world of chamber music.

Commenting on their performance, adjudicator Katie said, “Damn you put on a show! It was possibly the most simple performance that we’ve heard all day, but it was probably the best performance that we’ve seen all day”. Their prize is to perform as part of a concert in a prestigious London venue.

The Musicians qualified for the final via an initial round at Sherborne School, where they were congratulated by the adjudicator on “such an exciting and well thought out performance”.