Double Win for College Musicians

Two accomplished musicians at The Sixth Form College, Solihull have just been awarded bursaries after being named the winners of Roy Heartfield Scholarship at a concert this week.

Colleen Mapp

Peter Hands (aged 16, from Shirley) and Joe Ellis (aged 16, from Acocks Green) were jointly judged to give the best musical performances at the concert by a panel of expert judges. Both are pianists; Peter performed “Leo” by Handcock-Child to impress the judges, while Joe performed his own arrangement of “Music Butterflies and Hurricanes” by Ellis to beat off the competition of fellow students.

Peter is in his first year at the College and as well as studying Music, he is also taking A levels in Biology, English Literature and Psychology. Joe meanwhile is studying A levels in Music, English Language & Literature, Mathematics and Psychology and has a particular interest in composing.

The scholarship scheme was set up in memory of Roy Heartfield, a former teacher at the College, who died in post in 1992. The first winner was in 1994 and for the last 16 years the scholarship fund has continued. The scheme enables the winner to partake in a set of lessons with an eminent performer of their choice.

Curriculum Leader for Performing Arts at the College is Diane Dodd and she was impressed with the standard of performance at the concert. "It was a wonderful evening,” she enthused. “The students who were competing for the scholarship were under some pressure, but they performed marvellously and really rose to the challenge. Congratulations go to Peter and Joe, whose piano pieces were simply beautiful.”

College Principal Paul Ashdown added, “I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. It is on occasions such as this that I feel really proud to be Principal of this College. I’m always so impressed with the incredible talent of our students, but also their incredible confidence. I thank them and their teachers for putting on such a great concert.”

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