On Thursday night amidst a vast range of musical talent, St Andrews second year student Alice Morgan claimed the first place title playing her saxophone in the annual Palladian solo instrumental competition. In spite of some serious competition from the intercollege community, Alice’s mesmerizing performance of Pequeña Czarda by Pedro Iturralde, sensitively accompanied by Will Cesta, won the hearts of not only the judges but also every spectator in the crowd, who all fell captive to a plethora of long harmonious notes and soothing rhythms. This was a brilliant ensemble piece.
Fresher Adrian Whitehall’s outstanding performance on the double bass also received a well-deserved special mention. Performing Double Bass Concerto, Op. 3 (first movement) by Serge Koussevitzky, Adrian filled the room with passionate deep notes which together created a dramatic piece filled with tension, anticipation, and a stunning ending. As was Alice’s, Adrian’s performance was further enhanced by the complimentary accompaniment of impressive pianist, Anthony Chen.
Despite the obvious standout nature of both Adrian and Alice’s performances, the competing colleges definitely did not go unnoticed. A variety of musical talents filled the night, featuring violin, piano, and guitar. Attention must be called to the Paul’s contestant, who placed third, by recreating unique birdcalls with a recorder, encouraging the audience to shut their eyes and imagine themselves in a forest during his performance. It appears that the judges appreciated uniqueness! Second place went to a remarkable violin player from Women’s performing Ziguenerweisen Gypsy Airs.
Overall this year’s Palladian solo drama competition saw more talent than ever before. We are so glad that the talent from Drew’s came out on top. There are several Palladian events forthcoming, so watch out for news on the Palladian solo drama on the 3rd May and the Palladian dance on the 19th May.
– Hilary Shannon