All Hands to the Keys

Shining brightly under a spotlight, the newly polished Recital Hall piano stood in quiet readiness for more than a thousand fingers to grace its keys through Monday afternoon and into the evening. Children had been spilling out of teaching rooms all morning putting in last minute practice and finishing touches to their pieces. The excitement in the air was tangible and before we knew it the third Farleigh Piano Festival, featuring over a hundred children in the Prep School was about to begin..

Ordered into five classes, the youngest and most recent learners opened proceedings, demonstrating an already commendable standard. As the afternoon progressed it was evident that children had prepared hard for this day, rising to the occasion with smiling faces and beautifully polished performances despite some pre match nerves! Performing in front of an audience can be very daunting and even the youngest players took to the stage like seasoned professionals.

Teatime refreshments became early evening drinks as the afternoon became evening and the time came to enjoy a tremendous variety of repertoire played by the children in the more advanced classes, from Avicii to Bach, Chopin, Einaudi and Scott Joplin, impressively played with a mastery of technique and mature sensitivity of touch belying the youth of the performers. The grand finale concluded with an exciting programme of duets, pieces by Beethoven, a James Bond theme for two hands, a familiar folk tune, Alouette, finishing with a stunning performance of an arrangement of Clementi's Sonatina in C major for four hands on two pianos.

Miss Palfreyman, Godolphin Accompanist, had the unenviable task of judging the five classes, she offered her adjudication with great enthusiasm, clearly impressed with the excellent overall standard of Farleigh’s pianists. The pearls of wisdom she passed on will hopefully stand all the pianists in good stead for future performances. Congratulations go to everyone who took part and especially to the winners and runners up on the day.

Our thanks go to Miss Palfreyman, for stepping in to adjudicate the Festival at short notice as result of postponing the Festival from a very snowy Friday, to Mr Reeves for offering so many performance opportunities to so many children, to Mrs Rockhill, Head of Keyboard, to Farleigh’s piano teachers for preparing their pupils and to all the children who played in the Farleigh Piano Festival 2019.

Teresa Henderson 


Class Winner Runner-Up
Class 1 O Bell H Balmain
Class 2 T Matsumoto H Grindle
Class 3  T Evans P Foster
Class 4 W Russell H Morgan
Class 5 Solo Winner Solo Runner-Up
C de la Colina A Majendie
Duet Winners Duet Runners-Up
A Majendie
M Saunders
B Whitehead
H Whittington