New Chichester-wide music competition launches

A brand-new competition is being launched to celebrate musical talent within the Chichester area.

The competition is being set up by city-based soprano Jacquelyn Fugelle who has just taken over the chairmanship of Chichester’s Music on Sundays club. Jacquelyn is hoping the competition will prove a great way to attract young people to the club.

“I am delighted to say that Jonathan Willcocks (musical director of the Chichester Singers) has not only agreed to be our patron, but he is going to adjudicate the final in November. There will also be an audience prize, and if the competition is successful, it will be an annual event.

“Chichester City Council has awarded us a grant, and I am also seeking sponsorship from local retailers.”

The final of the Music on Sundays Young Musician Competition will be on Sunday, November 23 at 2.30pm at the club’s base, Christ Church, Old Market Avenue, Chichester. The prize will be £250 and a recital at the club.

The competition is open to classical singers and instrumentalists aged 16-23, grade six standard or higher who reside or study in West Sussex or within a 15-mile radius of Chichester. The preliminary rounds will be held on September 14 and 21. Both the heats and the final will be open to the public. Entry forms available from www.musiconsundays.co.uk; inquiries via www.JacquelynFugelle.com

“I just thought it would be good to entice some new younger blood into the club and that perhaps young people are not aware of what is on offer. I thought instigating a young musicians’ award would be a good idea. It will 
all be open to the public, 
so we hope people will come along and enjoy it.”

The lower age limit was set because of the requirement for performers to be of grade six standard (though not necessarily to have taken grade six); the upper age limit was set as a compromise.

“We had a bit of debate and went around in circles. At first I said 21, and then someone said 25, and so we compromised! We thought that usually by the age of 23, people will have left college. It’s really to incorporate people that are studying, and it has to be classical voice or instrumental. They will have to play or sing for ten minutes their own choice of piece. There is an entry form on the Music on Sundays website. I will get back to people with dates and a time, and then they will come along. There will be professional adjudication, and then it will be Jonathan for the final.

“I think really the best advice for people is just to be thoroughly prepared. Think about what you are going to perform, and be very, very prepared. You have also got to be very positive about what you are going to sing or perform. Before, when I have adjudicated, people have come in and said ‘I was going to do this and now I am not’ or ‘I have lost the last page’, and that really does not augur well for the first 30 seconds. First impressions are very important.

“But at the end of the day, we want people to have fun and to enjoy performing. Young people don’t often get the chance to perform in public. It will look good on the CV. It will be great experience. And it gives them an incentive to want to do more. You are not going to be grilled. It is to 
have fun and to have a great 
experience.”

As part of the process, Jacquelyn will offer constructive feedback to those that don’t make it through to the final.