Musical talent on show

Pianist Fernando Rosety, 17, won the St John's College talent contest
Pianist Fernando Rosety, 17, won the St John's College talent contest
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Gifted students at a Southsea school put on a dazzling display at their third annual music talent show.

Youngsters at St John’s College – which already boasts an award-winning choir – serenaded their audience with the sounds of classical, jazz and pop tunes.

The standard was very high at the 2012 Musicians Have Talent competition and, despite the pressure, everyone had lots of fun.

Clemmie Bridges, 14, opened the junior solo category round with a performance of Debussy’s Claire de Lune.

She says: ‘I felt my performance was good, it went really well.

‘I brought my mum, dad, brother and piano teacher along with me tonight!’

Sixteen students entered the competition that was split into five categories – junior (11 to 14-year-olds); intermediate (14 and 15-year-olds); senior voice; senior instrument and senior piano.

The evening’s performances included drum, guitar, flute, clarinet, cornet and piano solos as well as two vocal performances from students Paige Fieldsend, 16, and George Gissing, 15 – who shared the senior voice trophy.

George, who also plays for the school’s rugby team and is a member of the chapel choir, gave a confident performance of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good while playing the piano at the same time.

He says: ‘Since joining the choir this year I have become more confident with my singing.

‘I have been singing this song for years at home, with no-one listening, so thought this year I would have a go at performing it to an audience.

‘I felt a lot more pressure tonight that I do playing rugby, but once I got going it was good.’

The standard of music was so high judges Angela Blackwell, head of music at Portsmouth High School, Nick Miller, organ scholar at St Thomas’ Cathedral, and Graham Best, headmaster of St John’s, had a tough decision to make.

They chose sixth former Fernando Rosety, 17, as the overall winner following a brilliant rendition of Danza Espanola by Manuel de Falla.

Brian Foakes, music teacher at St John’s, who co-ordinated the event, says: ‘I was very impressed with the overall standard of the performances.

‘The judges had some difficult decisions to make.’

Other winners included drummer Daniel Forbes-Willis, 14, violinist Conroy Adams-Merrigan, 15, who also came overall runner-up, and guitar player Harvey Groom, 16.