Huge congratulations to KES principal bassoonist, Xavier Raynes on his truly outstanding performance at the Bath Young Musician of the Year competition last night, which saw him win the prestigious title. Commenting on the evening, Director of Music at KES, Rupert Drury said: “All five performers played with such technical assuredness and commitment in wonderfully varied and entertaining pieces and songs. It was an honour for us as an audience to observe and enjoy such a wonderfully varied programme at this intense level of musicianship.

“Xavier performed the first two movements of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto K.191 accompanied on the piano by the phenomenal Maria Garcia. After an exquisitely articulated opening, it was their intense expressivity in the slow second movement in particular that really highlighted Xavier’s beautiful and individual singing tone on the instrument. Throughout he reacted wonderfully to not only the emotional needs of the music but also to the reactions of the resonant acoustic of the pump rooms and the audience with an assured stage presence. They rounded this off with the brilliant fireworks of an arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee with Xavier producing thrilling and incredibly long and dexterous phrasing to a single breath.

“This award is a huge accolade to Xavier’s intense musicianship and depth of preparation, and we look forward to supporting and following Xavier in his exciting musical future.”

A leading musician at the School, last year Xavier performed as a soloist, accompanied by fellow school musicians and Bath Philharmonia at a joint Gala Concert at the Guildhall.  Over the years Xavier has been principal bassoonist with the National Children’s Orchestra, and a member of both the National Chamber Orchestra and Junior Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra.

The final of the Bath Young Musician of the Year saw a double celebration for Xavier, as he also heard that he had passed his bassoon Diploma, so can now append DipABRSM to his name.

King Edward’s School is currently Independent School of the Year for Performing Arts, as voted for by the judges of Independent School Parent magazine.