West Sussex Guitar Club

Charity No. 1124762

Patrons: Gary Ryan & Fabio Zanon

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Club Member Wins Robert Headley Award

Posted by admin on June 22, 2008

Anyone watching the recent BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition could not fail to be impressed by the young guitarist Jadran Duncomb who won the string section of the competition, but did not win the overall final. If you missed his perfomances, see

www.bbc.co.uk/youngmusician/sites/competition/video/jadran_perf.shtml It is probably not surprising he was not overall winner since how can our quiet, intimate, parlour instrument compete with say the grand piano which can be a whole loud impressive 10 piece orchestra. However, member Chris Sweatman has just proved that it can be done by winning the Robert Headley award which is part of the Funtington Music Festival.

The competition is only open to students studying music at Chichester University. Over 30 entries took part and only 6 were selected for the showcase final on 23rd April. Chris was competing against piano, cello, recorder and voice. He played Gavotte en Rondeau by Bach, Asturias by Albeniz and Etude no. 11 by Villa Lobos. None of these pieces are for the faint hearted. The final was a close fought affair, but the judges eventually awarded Chris the first prize of £500 (which apparently is to be earmarked for driving lessons). Chris was then privileged to later perform Asturias at the Chichester Cathedral Gala Concert.

Chris feels that although he won on the night, anyone could have won, as the competition was very good and everyone played extremely well. He has been studying with Sasha for 3 years now. Chris says Sasha has been a great inspiration in all aspects of his playing. He always has ideas on how a piece should sound and how you can improve upon it. Chris feels very indebted to Sasha for all his help over the years. Chris has also had lessons from Roberto Gonalaz who has helped in terms of tone production and quality and how to view the pieces he plays.

Chris plans to continue with the guitar by studying for a Masters Degree at Chichester University. We all wish him well and are glad that he will still be around for at least another year. Well done Chris and very well deserved.