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Top UK music director applauds Stafford talent

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 14, 2014

By Sarah Marshall

  • Top UK music director applauded talented Joe Yates.

  • Charlotte Howdle

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A TOP UK music director gave the thumbs up to rising starlets at a Stafford school when he dropped in to judge a competition.

Dr Stephen Cobb signed up to pick two award-winning performances at Stafford Grammar School’s music festival. Dozens of musicians aged between 11 and 18 auditioned for the event, with just 20 places up for grabs in the final where they were given the chance to showcase their musical talent in front of the VIP guest.

Flautist Joe Yates (17), from Church Eaton, was awarded the senior prize for his performance of Ballade, by Albert Perilhou, while the international bandmaster and cornet player chose 17-year-old violinist Georgina Mabey (17) as runner-up.

“He is used to working with distinguished musicians so I was really happy that he chose mine as the winning performance. He liked my musicality, saying I’d captured the drama of the piece,” commented Joe, who has already achieved Grade 8 on the flute and is now working towards his diploma. He plans to study for a degree in music at university from September.

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Meanwhile the top junior prize went to 13-year-old violinist Charlotte Howdle for her interpretation of Czardas by Vittorio Monti. In second place was viola player Dominic Sterland (15).

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