Solihull Sixth Form College award music bursary

Two talented musicians at Solihull Sixth Form College shared a music bursary from the Heartfield-Wharam Scholarship after auditioning at a public concert this week.

Alex Polack (aged 17, from Moseley) and Kathryn Welch (aged 18 from Shirley) each won £150 to spend on music tuition from an eminent performer of their choice. They beat off competition from nine other students to win the prize and impressed the judges with their performances. Alex performed “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” on the Trumpet, while Kathryn sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables”.

This bursary was set up in memory of two great musicians who strongly supported music in Solihull and at the College. Roy Heartfield was the original Head of Music at the College, who died in post in 1992, while Margaret Wharam was the former Head of Music at Malvern Hall and Head Organist at Solihull Methodist Church. The first winner of this prize was in 1994 and for the last 25 years the scholarship fund has continued.

Music teacher at the college Chris Phelps commented, “It is always difficult to pick a winner especially when the performances are so contrasting, so this year we decided that both Kathryn and Alex deserved recognition. Congratulations to them both for their brilliant performances, and well done to all the students for taking on the challenge of performing in front of a live audience. It provided them all with an excellent opportunity to develop their talents, which will stand them in very good stead for their Music A level. Many of our students continue their Music studies at universities or conservatoires where performing remains vital to their success.”

The judging panel consisted of Music teacher Chris Phelps, Choir leader Margot Cooper (also a Maths teacher at the College) and piano accompanist Chris Collis.

The next music concert takes place at Christmas at Solihull Sixth Form College. Tickets are available now for the free Christmas Concert on Wednesday 18 December (7.00pm) by calling 0121 704 2581 or emailing