Pangbourne Piano Festival continues to flourish

For the seventh consecutive year, Pangbourne College celebrated its All Steinway status with a Piano Festival in early March.

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4th April 2019 — This year was the largest festival to date, with 120 young people aged 7 to 18 involved from more than 33 independent and state schools in the South of England.

The festival included competitive solo and duet classes of Grades 1 to 8 standard. During these classes each participant or duo had the opportunity to perform the piece on a world-class instrument and had instant feedback from one of two very experienced adjudicators, Mr Luis Parés and Mrs Pamela Chilvers. At the end of the classes, an album of music or CD was awarded to the winner and runner-up. There was a solo masterclass too, at which participants could look in greater depth at a piece with one of the adjudicators.

Of those taking part in the Festival, 13 are studying at Pangbourne College and one of them, Grace Spalton (aged 15) won the Solo Advanced, 18 and under (Grades 7-8), before she joined her fellow pupil Kenny Xu (aged 18) to win the Duet Senior, 18 and under class.

All Pangbourne's pianos come from Steinway and sit well within the school's Music department which was created in 2012 and the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, opened by The Queen in 2000.

After the event, Piano Festival Coordinator Mrs Alex Garnier and Director of Music Miss Ellie Calver were delighted to receive a large number of positive comments from parents and teachers. Marie Ward, Head of Piano at Cranleigh Prep and Cranleigh School was one who offered such feedback: "Thank you very much once again for the wonderful festival we attended recently. Our children get such a lot out of it and it provides them with a really valuable experience, outside the school environment, where they can also learn from other performers performers."

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About Pangbourne College

Pangbourne is a vibrant boarding and day school community, perfectly balancing strong Service values with a dynamic, modern outlook and ‘real world’, unpretentious, inclusive attitude. Pangbourne offers a robust and rewarding academic and creative curriculum, exceptional pastoral care and a huge range of opportunities and challenges beyond the classroom. This combination provides girls and boys aged 11– 18, with the individual attention, resources, space, self-esteem and ability to exploit fully their natural potential, benefiting both themselves and others, in a friendly, relaxed campus environment. 

The College, set in 230 acres of West Berkshire countryside in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offers a wide range of academic, sporting, musical, dramatic and artistic opportunities to all pupils.


“The personal development of Pangbourne’s students is outstanding, meeting the College’s aim to develop the character of all students. This is supported by an excellent, broad curriculum which enables students to progress academically and supports the development of the whole individual.”

ISI Inspection Report


“A distinctive school that puts huge emphasis on self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. Caring and supportive, Pangbourne buzzes with activity and encourages every pupil to have a go and get involved.”

Good Schools Guide


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