Junior section

On the 26th and 27th of February at St Luke’s in the Avenue local boys and girls moved and entertained an audience of parents and fellow participants in the 76th Annual Junior Vocal Section of the Richmond upon Thames Performing Arts Festival.

They were also singing for the experienced singer and adjudicator, Jacquelyn Fugelle who was generous in her praise and advice to the youngsters. At the end of the Vocal Section the award for Young Singer of the Year was made to Dominic Novak of Hanwell, and the runner up prize was awarded to Richmond resident, Laura Bithell.

The Kirkland Cup for best show song out of five classes was awarded to Isabel Wroe Wright, a newcomer to the Festival. Julia Solomon and Anastasiya Gorodilova made a welcome return to the Festival and won the Junior and Intermediate Challenge Cups respectively. James Eustace won the Boy’s Challenge as well as the A.T. Stewart Cup and Prize for English Song. Sisters, Sophie and Annabel Marr gave a polished performance to win the Junior Duet Cup.

Susannah Hardwick from Wimbledon defended her title to the Girl’s Solo Challenge Cup for the second year running and Charlie Clifford from St James’s School in Twickenham won the Boy’s Solo Challenge Cup. Oakfield School returned to defend their title to the Ensemble Cup for their age group and a small ensemble from St Paul’s Girl’s School were impressive in their choice of programme which earned them the Ensemble Cup for those aged 21 and under.

Senior section

The Senior Vocal Section of the Richmond upon Thames Performing Arts Festival was a smaller affair this year consisting for the most part of a stalwart band of regulars.

However, there was much to enjoy throughout the day and everyone benefited under the watchful eyes and ears of the eminent teacher, singer and adjudicator, Penelope Price Jones. Esteban Suarez from Kew Gardens won the Lieder Cup and Prize this year - his first trophy in his third year of taking part. Athena Scaperdas from Surbiton made a welcome return to the Festival and won the Recital Cup and the Chimes Music Shop Prize.

She also won the Duet Cup - singing with her cousin newly arrived in this country – and there will be an opportunity to hear their prizewinning duet at the Festival Showcase on the 7th of May at Queen Charlotte Hall.

Other winners were Jane Anghelatos from Southfields, Heather Higgins from New Malden, Fiona Clark from Richmond and Susan Welland from Southampton.

Judy Hildesley