Music starlets inspired by world class maestro

Music starlets took inspiration from one of the world’s leading trumpet players when he dropped in at their school to pick award winning performances.

From left - right: 21-year-old James Fountain the principal trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (pictured left) with his top six performers at Stafford Grammar School’s music festival – Dylan Edge, 14, Bednall singer Jenny Kendall (junior runner-up),13, Charlotte Howdle, 14, Eleanor Sterland, 18, Colwich vocalist Georgie McKinley (senior runner-up),18, Dominic Sterland, 16.
From left – right:
21-year-old James Fountain the principal trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (pictured left) with his top six performers at Stafford Grammar School’s music festival – Dylan Edge, 14, Bednall singer Jenny Kendall (junior runner-up),13, Charlotte Howdle, 14, Eleanor Sterland, 18, Colwich vocalist Georgie McKinley (senior runner-up),18, Dominic Sterland, 16.​

Aged only 21, not many years separate the principal trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from pupils at Stafford Grammar School. James Fountain took up the high profile role with the internationally renowned orchestra last year and his fast track to the top wowed the aspiring young musicians as he judged the final of their competition.

“He is phenomenal. To become one of the main trumpeters in the world at his age is just ridiculously brilliant. He is definitely someone I look up to,”

sgs-james-fountain-trumpeter
21-year-old James Fountain the principal trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

said 14-year-old violinist Charlotte Howdle, who captured the junior category with her interpretation of Fritz Kreisler’s composition, Praeludium und Allegro. ​
More than 60 students aged between 11 and 18 auditioned for the event, with 23 winning through to perform in front of their distinguished guest in a bid to claim a trophy. He was entertained by instrumentalists and singers with an array of classical pieces and songs from musical theatre. ​ ​ more follows . . .
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“It’s difficult to see myself as a role model while I’m still so young. At the age of 15 or 16, I certainly never dreamed I would have come so far by the time I reached 21. But I suppose the pupils have been able to see what’s possible to achieve when you keep working really hard and push yourself,” said James.

“Being a judge is tough. It’s not just about playing all the right notes in the right places. Although technique is important, I look for the musicality which jumps out at you in a performance,” he added.

Eighteen-year-old vocalist Eleanor Sterland chalked up top marks to win the senior award for her delivery of Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whittaker, accompanied on the violin by her brother Dominic, 16, who came third for his own solo performance. Colwich singer Georgie McKinley, 18, split the siblings to finish second in the under-18 category.

Meanwhile 13-year-old Jenny Kendall, from Bednall, sang an Italian aria to clinch the under-14 runner-up slot, with violinist Dylan Edge, 14, gaining third place.