Last night saw a capacity crowd squeeze into the Princess Alexandra Hall for the Singer Section Final of this year's Annual Music Competition. Four talented Commonwealth musicians treated the crowd to a varied programme which showcased their voices to full effect as they fought for a place in the Gold Medal Final in May. 

First to take to the stage was tenor Joel Williams, joined by pianist Keval Shah, for a selection of Dowland, Handel, Schubert, Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Quilter.  

Next up, New Zealander Benson Wilson baritone was joined by countryman Bradley Wood piano, winner of the ROSL Awards for an Outstanding New Zealand Musician at the 2018 AMC. Benson took us through Gounnod, Verdi, and Butterworth, before ending his performance with the Māori haka 'Ka Mate! Ka Mate!', which I'm sure any Rugby fans will be familiar with.

Mezzo Soprano Emily Kyte, accompanied by Natalie Burch piano, next chose repertoire including Gounod, Mozart, and Handel, before rounding our her performance with Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, always popular among the audience.

Our final performance of the evening came from William Thomas bass, accompanied by Michael Pandya piano, whose programme of Schubert, Wolf, Poulenc, Harrison, and Rossini, finished off the evening to rapturous applause. 

The judging panel, this evening made up of Chair Gavin Henderson CBE, Joseph Middleton, Dame Felicity Palmer, Geoff Parkin, and Maxine Robertson, were left with a difficult decision to choose a winner among the four excellent performances. As they retired to consider their verdict, the audience enjoyed wine with the performers.

In the end, it was William Thomas who emerged victorious, a huge congratulations to him. He walks away with the £5,000 Section Final prize and the chance to compete for the £15,000 Gold Medal at the AMC Final on 30 May. 


Next week, it is the turn of the Solo Strings. If the packed house last night is anything to go buy, buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Book here.

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