Duo of top awards for Woldingham at prestigious 2024 Pro Corda Schools Festival

Duo of top awards for Woldingham at prestigious 2024 Pro Corda Schools Festival

19 March 2024

Woldingham’s Lee Trio comprising Lilico (Year 11), Isabel and Cherry (both Upper Sixth) won top honours at the finals of the National Chamber Music Festival for Schools - more widely known as the Pro Corda Festival - in London on 17 March 2024 for their performance of Martinu’s Trio for Flute, Violin and Piano. In the final award of the 2024 festival, Woldingham School won the top school prize, The Founder’s Trophy, presented annually to the school where the judges find chamber music is most alive and thriving.

The National Chamber Music Competition is a UK-wide annual competition organised by Pro Corda, a charity led by concert pianist Andrew Quartermain. This year’s adjudicator was Dr Evan Rothstein, Deputy Head of Strings at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.

In the Lee Trio, Lilico played the violin, Cherry the flute and Isabel was on the piano. A younger Woldingham chamber group, the Zheng Quartet of Minerva, Shaki, Gloria and Freya (pictured below) were highly praised for their beautiful playing of the unusual combination of Chinese traditional and Western modern instruments. Three other Woldingham chamber groups were semi-finalists in this year’s national festival.

Ms Rachel Ives, Interim Director of Music, said: ‘I am so proud of all of our winners, finalists and semi-finalists at the Pro Corda Schools Festival. With a record number of chamber groups from leading schools from across the UK in the 2024 finals, for Woldingham to win The Founder’s Trophy was the icing on the cake.

Lilico, Isabel and Cherry were simply outstanding and I was delighted that their preparation and hours of rehearsal were rewarded with the U19 prize. The adjudicator remarked not just on their musicality, but also how wonderfully they played together as a group, a vital part of being an outstanding chamber group, which reflects the ethos and strength of the community at Woldingham, one of the oldest schools for girls in the UK’.

Mrs Julia Harrington, Woldingham’s Head added: ‘These awards not only go to our brilliant students but it’s also a testament to my colleagues for the excellent teaching and support they provide to our musicians, and Woldingham’s fantastic rehearsal and performance facilities, which include our outstanding 630-seat auditorium at the centre. Music is at the heart of Woldingham and I am thrilled for the Lee Trio and all of our wonderful musicians at school.’

Every year Woldingham students leave to take places at top conservatoires and universities in the UK and around the world. The school’s proximity to London also enables us to support students who successfully audition for the Junior Departments of both the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, which take place on Saturdays. The school awards scholarships and exhibitions to students demonstrating ability and dedication to music.

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