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Songwriting prize for music technology student Amanda

Music Technology student Amanda Ward could be heading for a career in London’s West End theatre after winning a prize in a national songwriting competition.

Amanda, formerly of Brentwood Ursuline School, was the runner-up in the contest which was an X-Factor style event held at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton, on Sunday 24th January.

The competition, staged by Southampton University, challenged students to write a song for a new musical theatre production about the life of Fidel Castro, the politician and revolutionary who was Cuba’s President from 1976 to 2008.

Songwriting prize for music technology student Amanda | January 2016

Amanda was invited to perform at the final where she arranged her tango style piece for strings, accordion and percussion and also performed the song in front of a large audience.

There were five songs in the final and the audience voted to pick their favourite using remote 'clicker' technology.

Amanda, who is also studying Music, Moving Image Arts and Photography, was awarded a very creditable second place for her song Viva La Revolution. She gained lots of positive comments from the panel of judges on her singing, composition and arranging skills and won £100.

Music Technology tutor, Chris Donnelly, said: “All the songs in the final were of a very high standard. Amanda did incredibly well to perform so confidently on such a big stage.

“Students in the College music technology class wrote songs during the summer after studying the life of Fidel Castro and the draft script of the new musical in lessons.

“The best three students were entered into the competition. The other two entries from Havering Sixth Form, Ewan Whannell and Ryan Jones, were given certificates and short excerpts from their songs were played at the showcase event.”

There are still a few songs needed for the musical, so if you are a student and you would like to enter the competition yourself, there is still time - follow the link for details fidelthemusical.org