Ones to watch out for in the future

Contestants of the Winifred Micklam Prize

A student has won the Winifred Micklam Prize, while two others have been awarded the Presentation Prizes in Memory of Joyce Stanley.

Luke Cutler (oboe) was the first-prize winner, with William Swinnerton (baritone) receiving a special mention as highly commended. The Winifred Micklam Prize is a long-standing prize at RBC that is awarded annually for the best overall performance of the evening.

Rufus Westley (piano) and Rowan Tidball (clarinet) won the first and second Presentation Prizes respectively in Memory of Joyce Stanley. These are more recent prizes, awarded since 2022 for the students who display the best general stage presence and verbal introduction to their performance.

The prizes are open to all first-year undergraduate students on any instrument. Composer and former Visiting Tutor Liz Dilnot-Johnson adjudicated the final round, which saw six finalists compete for both prizes at the Recital Hall.

The audience was impressed by the performances given by the students, especially as they are in their first year of study at RBC.

Head of Woodwind Jenni Phillips said: “Congratulations to Luke for his confident, heartfelt performance. He is a natural oboe player and certainly one to watch out for in the future. The Woodwind Department is incredibly proud of him, and it is of special note that he is the first oboist to have won this prize. Well done, Luke!”

Senior Tutor in Piano and organiser of the competition Katharine Lam said: “Congratulations to Rufus and Rowan, who both addressed the audience, not only with confidence and ease, but also showcased their individual characters and spoke of their personal response to the music.

“We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors, Lynne and Bob Ingram, who actively wish to encourage and support our students, from their very first year at RBC, in developing the crucial skill of communicating and connecting with a live audience to enhance their overall performance.”

Pictured: The six finalists with the sponsor and adjudicator. Left to right: Lynne Ingram (Presentation Prizes sponsor), Rufus Westley (piano), Rowan Tidball (clarinet), Luke Cutler (oboe), Isaac Bousfield (trombone), Sophie Sterry (soprano), William Swinnerton (baritone) and Liz Dilnot-Johnson (adjudicator).

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