18 Douzelage Young Musicians from Houffalize, Meerssen, Rokiskis, Sherborne, Sigulda, Sušice, Zvolen and Granville have just spent a music- and fun-packed week in a hot and sunny Granville for the 3rd Young Musicians Festival.
After their welcome to the sound of rock and pop music from local young musicians from the music school, the first day was spent in rehearsals, both individually to prepare for the contest, and with the local young orchestras, followed by the semi-finals the next day and the end-of-year music school concert when the Douzelage players joined the orchestras and Sofija, the contestant from Meerssen, gave a special demonstration of the harp.
The talented young contestants gave performances of an exceptionally high standard on the violin, piano, flute, harp, recorder, trombone and trumpet, but five finalists had to be chosen and they were from Meerssen, Sušice, Zvolen and Sherborne. They gave their performances in front of a highly appreciative audience. Whilst the jury of professional musicians were undertaking the difficult task of choosing the winner, the audience were entertained by impromptu chamber music performances by the other young Douzelage musicians. The announcement was then made: in 5th place was Bee Thomas (Sherborne, recorder), 4th Kelly Kwong (Sherborne, piano), 3rd Sofija Kirn (Meerssen, harp), the runner-up was Simona Bohovičová (Zvolen, violin), with the trophy being awarded to the worthy winner, Kristýna Prančlová, a young violinist from Sušice, who had given an exceptionally talented and sensitive performance.
During their stay, apart from the musical activities, the musicians and their adult accompanists were able to make the most of the local beaches, do a lively Treasure Hunt in the old High Town, and visit the Mont St Michel, even venturing out with a guide to find out about the surrounding mud flats with their quicksand and interesting flora and fauna.
Thanks to all the contestants for their hard work, their amazing performances and their high spirits and good humour, which created a fine group spirit, overcoming any competitive rivalry and making the whole week one of intense exchanges and friendship, strengthening the links between our towns. Rendezvous in two years’ time in Türi, so now is the time to encourage all your young musicians to keep up their practice so that it can be their turn to make the most of this wonderful experience.