Reaching the High Notes
A Year 10 pupil who came to the UK from Ukraine last spring has won first prize in an international music competition.
A school girl who came to Croydon from Ukraine last spring has won first prize in a prestigious international competition – and one of her classmates came third.
The Laurels School Year 10 pupil Kseniia entered the charity Never Such Innocence’s annual competition which encourages children and young people to reflect on war through the creative arts. This year’s theme was ‘What does war mean to you?’
It was particularly poignant for 16-year-old Kseniia, whose winning pop song Void was based on a dream she experienced in the build-up to last year’s invasion. Her classmate Catheline meanwhile wrote a piece of musical theatre called ‘Conflict,’ merging English, Ukrainian, Spanish and French. Remarkably, the girls’ close friend Isa was shortlisted, making it to the top 5 with ‘Parar’.
With three winners in one school, Chief Executive of Never Such Innocence, Katie Salari, came to school to surprise the girls with news of their success during a music lesson. Almost 3000 pupils worldwide entered the competition with prizes for songs, art, poems and speeches.
The girls will have the opportunity to meet other prize-winners, from 23 other countries, in an online event very soon and there will be a further live event in due course.
All three girls study GCSE Music at The Laurels, a girls’ independent day school with a Catholic ethos in South London, and were encouraged to enter by Director of Music, Dr Grace Gates. She said: ‘The girls worked incredibly well together, motivating each other to create three superb pieces. It’s wonderful that the judges thought so too!’
Headmistress Mrs Sanders said, ‘I am so pleased for the girls, for Dr Gates and for The Laurels. Their achievements are remarkable and are testament to their dedication and friendship. The girls found exploring the idea of war challenging, particularly because of Kseniia’s recent experiences, but have deepened their understanding and really met the charity’s aims, to inspire cultural dialogue and exchange.
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