On Sunday 17th March, Eltham College’s String Octet were announced as winners of the Pro Corda National Chamber Music Competition U16 category. The final saw 44 chamber groups from a wide range of schools perform over a 7-hour day, with winners announced at the end. The final came after an initial round at Sevenoaks School, and a semifinal here at Eltham, and so there were hundreds of groups in each category at the start of the competition.

Our Octet performed the 1st movement of Mendelssohn’s Octet in Eb major, which is well known for its complexity, and for a group of young musicians to perform it as well as they did is seriously impressive. What’s more, with three of the pupils in Year 8 and one in Year 9, the average age of our pupils was just over 14, making a win in the U16 even more notable.

This victory is just reward for months of hard work from these eight pupils, who have been coached brilliantly by our Head of Strings Ms Jessica O’Leary.