St Helen and St Katharine student in BBC Young Musician Woodwind Final

St Helen and St Katharine is delighted to celebrate the success of Sixth Form student Alice Gore who this year reached the Woodwind Final of the prestigious BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.

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28th April 2020 — Alice, who was St Helen’s Head Girl from spring term 2019 to spring term 2020, is an extremely accomplished bassoonist who also plays the baritone saxophone and sings in the School’s Chapel Choir.

“I love playing the bassoon because it’s more of an unusual instrument,” she says. “It has such an amazing range, from very low to lovely and melodic high notes. And it’s both different and similar to the baritone saxophone, which means they fit well together and I can enjoy a different range of music genres on the sax. Being in the category finals of a competition like this was nerve-wracking but I loved the whole experience and just did my best!”

Ms Helena Rakowski, Director of Music at St Helen’s, is among those who have watched Alice’s musicality grow as she moved through the School: “What is wonderful about the way Alice plays is that her personality comes out in her music. She is so cheerful, creative and will chat to anyone in school, especially younger students who see her as a musical mentor figure.”

Headmistress Mrs Rebecca Dougall was also brimming with excitement at the news: “Alice contributes so much to the life of St Helen’s, both as Head Girl and as a brilliant student, and yet her creative side is never neglected – her musical performances are always superb and we are extremely proud of her. In our eyes, she won the moment she reached the final!”

Alice performed at the Woodwind Final on Monday 9 March at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which will be broadcast on BBC Four.

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About St Helen & St Katharine

Founded in 1903, St Helen and St Katharine is a leading independent day school for girls aged 9–18 in Abingdon, six miles south of Oxford.

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