First year RBC students impress with outstanding competition performances


First-year BMus (piano) student Mario Bobotsov has won the Winifred Micklam Prize, a long-standing competition for RBC students in their first year of undergraduate study.

During the final round of the competition, mezzo-soprano Caroline Loane and French horn student Jhih-Yi Chang collected the inaugural Presentation Prizes in Memory of Joyce Stanley for displaying the best general stage presence, which included a short verbal introduction.

Joyce Stanley was a Birmingham-born music lover who passed away last year. The prizes were presented by Lynne Ingram, her daughter.

Chief Music Critic at the Birmingham Post and former RBC Music Lecturer Christopher Morley served as the competition’s adjudicator.

Christopher said: “It was good to be invited back to Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where I taught for nearly a quarter of a century, and to experience anew the quality of its students from all over the world. The competitors presented fascinating programmes, and it was a privilege to hear them, and invidious to adjudicate them!

“Onstage presentation is so vital in performance – how you engage with the audience, holding the audience throughout the performance, courtesies towards the accompanist, even the placing of the music-stand if you need one. These competitors were heroic in their personal introductions, three of these not in their first language.

“Overall, this was a wonderfully exhilarating competition, so many congratulations to the organisers, the accompanists, and not least to the competitors themselves.”

Senior Piano Lecturer and competition organiser Katharine Lam said: “Our thanks must go to Mr and Mrs Ingram for sponsoring the new Presentation Prizes. This puts a spotlight on the need for engaging stage presentation and communication skills for students in their very first year studying at RBC. Being able to combine this with our established Winifred Micklam Prize, for the highest level of performance, is a fantastic opportunity for our students.” 


Pictured: (Left to right) Mario Bobotsov, Caroline Loane and Jhih-Yi Chang, all with Lynne Ingram.

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