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Musician of the Year: Spotlight on Joseph, LGS

Musician of the Year: Spotlight on Joseph, LGS featured image

Can you tell us about your musical background? 

I started playing the flute at the age of seven with Ailsa Gillies-Loach and since May 2021 with Anna Pope in London. I have been placed in the British Flute Society’s Young Performer competition, and in 2022, achieved 3rd place overall, the highest of any British entry. I have performed with the English Schools’ Orchestra and I was previously a member of the National Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. In October 2022, I was selected as Bardi Young Musician of the Year and in January 2023, performed Mozart’s Flute Concerto No.2 with the Orchestra. In June 2023, I will be performing the Reinecke Flute Concerto with the Loughborough Orchestra. I obtained a DipLCM performance diploma in May 2021 and in January 2023, I was awarded an LTCL in flute performance. I am also a keen musician in school. As a music scholar, I participate in many of the weekly ensembles and regularly perform as a soloist. I am a proud player of Miyazawa flutes and am delighted to be a young artist for them.  

What first inspired you to play the flute? 

I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to play the flute if it wasn’t for the fantastic instrument carousel that the children take part in in Year 2. Trying more than 10 instruments, the flute was just the stand-out for me!   

Tell us about your experience in the Musician of the Year competition. 

The Musician of the Year competition is, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the musical calendar. It is a chance to obtain valued feedback from nationally-known musicians and an opportunity to listen to and appreciate the music of my peers to hear what they have been working on. Having been selected as the winners of our respective categories, we eagerly wait for the final which is, without any doubt, the concert with the highest attainment of the year.   

Why did you choose to perform The Dutilleux Flute Sonatine? 

The Dutilleux Flute Sonatine demonstrates nearly all of the major techniques that an accomplished flute player must be able to handle including: double and triple tonguing, flutter tonguing, a full range of dynamics across all 4 registers of the instrument, phrasing, and precise finger dexterity. It was written as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire in the 1940s for students to be tested on their technique but soon became a leading piece of flute repertoire. Aside from that, the piece is great fun to play and put together with piano!  

What was your favourite thing about taking part in the competition? 

My favourite thing about taking part in the competition was spending time with my friends and being able to congratulate them on all the hard work they have put into their repertoire. The competition is on everyone’s mind from the beginning of the academic year and to be able to pull those pieces out of the bag is a really achievement that should be noted!  

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of taking part in the competition in future? 

My advice to any prospective musicians looking to take part in the competition in the future would be to not actually view it as a competition. See it as a festival to appreciate the music of others and an opportunity to receive expert feedback.  

What are you hoping to do next year, after leaving Loughborough Grammar School? 

After my A-Levels of Music, French and Spanish, I am looking to go off and study music performance at a conservatoire in London. London is a socially diverse hub where everything is on offer and everyone speaks a second language there. There is the chance to work with world-class musicians on a weekly basis and to get involved with music-making every day of the week.