Eleven instrumental ensembles from six of the Colleges competed on Tuesday 30 August in the Union Refectory. The standard was extraordinarily high within a variety of genres, including classical chamber music, duets and jazz groups. First place was taken by a dazzling flautist and cellist from St John’s, performing ‘The Jet Whistle’ by Villa-Lobos. Andrew’s took second place with a trio by the modern Armenian composer Arutiunian: this virtuosic movement was played with impeccable poise and rapport by Alex Waite at the piano, Emma Townsend on the violin and Robert Sherrington on the clarinet. A lively and beguiling jazz group from Wesley was placed third with an arrangement of ‘Rusty Old Boat’ by Paul Gilbert.
A mellifluous tuba-player and a pianist from St Paul’s were honourably mentioned for a suitably limpid ‘Limpid Stream’ by Shostakovich. Paul’s, which was marginally ahead of Andrew’s in the overall scoring, gained no instrumental points and Andrew’s has narrowed the gap. A great deal now hangs on the result of the dramatic group contest on Tuesday 6 September.
Professor Robert Ian Jack