Ella jazzes up GDST Young Musician of the Year concert

On Wednesday 10 February, Sydenham High Year 10 music scholar Ella Plumb performed a jazz classic in the concert final of the GDST Young Musician of the Year competition.

Ella, aged 15, took to the stage in the impressive surroundings of St John’s Smith Square in London, one of the country’s leading concert venues, to play Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee on alto saxophone.

The talented saxophonist plays in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, as well as the school’s Jazz Collective and Concert Band, and started a two-year jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music in September last year.

The event featured six finalists from across the GDST national network of 24 schools and two academies as well as Ella. The finalists performed in front of a panel of acclaimed judges including award-winning cellist Jane Salmon, renowned pianist Peter Hill and conductor Hilary Davan Wetton.

The concert also featured a world-premiere of a newly-composed piece of music written by Grace-Evangeline Mason. Grace won the BBC Young Composer of the Year 2013 and has subsequently had her music played as part of the BBC Proms.

Helen Fraser, chief executive of the GDST, said: “Music is such an important part of life in all GDST schools. It is wonderful to see so many young people showcasing their talents at this prestigious event in such a magnificent venue.  All our schools encourage young people to develop an appreciation for music early in life and I look forward to hearing more from our finalists in the future.”

Headteacher Mrs Kathryn Pullen said: “It’s a real honour for Ella to perform in such a renowned venue. We’ve got a wealth of musical talent here at Sydenham High and I couldn’t be prouder of their achievements.”

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