Sixth Form students shine in International Piano Competition

It was an intense four days for the group, Rohin Dale, Nicole Pilsworth, George Bowen, Jago Thornton and Zoé Geddes. Within hours of arriving in Poland, the local Mayor was welcoming the students as guests at the opening of a photographic exhibition celebrating 5 years of the festival. In the evening there was a spectacular concert given by the internationally renowned pianists Stanislaw Drzewiecki and Jekaterina Drzewiecka.

The climax of the Festival was the competition in which pianists had to perform two pieces in front of a panel of judges. More than 30 people entered the competition from Germany and Poland as well as students from The Sixth Form College. Despite stiff competition, second year students, Nicole Pilsworth and Jago Thornton claimed the third and fourth prizes, respectively.

Students took part in Masterclasses every day with international performers who put the exceptionally talented young pianists through their paces and also gave a number of performances including at Trzebiechow Palace at the famous Winter Garden in Zielona Gora.

Fittingly the trip concluded with some sightseeing and a celebratory meal with Beata Kouluen, an English teacher and some of her students from the high school in Sulechów.

Ben Dowsett, Curriculum Manager for Music at the College, who accompanied the students to Poland commented "The students held their nerve against some stiff competition, doing the College and Rushmoor proud. The festival organisers were very impressed and have invited us back next year."

George Bowden, a second year student who took part in the competition said "Having the opportunity to visit Poland and take part in an international piano festival has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. The culture of Poland, coupled with the music at the festival made the trip fantastic!"

The trip would not have been possible without the support of the Rushmoor Twinning Association who helped both financially and also in the planning, having such excellent links with the town. Special thanks must be given to Aldona Hannah from TAR who travelled with the group.