The Haberdashers' Musician of the Year Award

Students, staff and members from across the country came together last night at Haberdashers' Hall for the first Haberdashers' Musician of the Year, a celebration of the vast range of talent in our schools that resulted in a fantastic evening of musical entertainment.


Professor Jane Glover CBE, Freeman, Adrian Bradbury and Alessandro Fisher, Freeman (the judges) with the Master Caroline Davis and all the musicians (the winner and runner-up holding their awards). The award was kindly donated by the Glover family in memory of Robert Glover (father of Professor Jane and Past Master Richard and head of both Adams' Grammar School and Haberdashers' Monmouth School), who was, in Richard's words, 'passionate and enthusiastic about music in schools, passionate and enthusiastic about competition in schools.'


The award was developed to showcase the considerable musical accomplishments of Haberdashers’ students and to further develop the Haberdasher identity across the family of schools. The schools were invited to send one competitor from each of their senior schools, making eight participants in total. 

The first half of the evening featured four exceptional pianists, the second a variety of musical instruments (and voice) of staggeringly high quality:

Haberdashers’ Monmouth Girls: Miss Xiaoli Biggs (Piano)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy: Miss Marfa Ekimova (Piano)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School: Mr Theo Sibtain (Piano) 
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy: Mr Yusuf Akorede (Piano)
Haberdashers’ Monmouth Boys: Mr Sam Britner (Singer)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College: Mr Ishmael Human (Trumpet)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls: Miss Lauren Parsons (Clarinet)
Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby: Mr Oliver Hodgkiss (Euphonium)

The judges, led by highly acclaimed conductor Professor Jane Glover CBE, took some time to reach their decision. Professor Glover thanked all the competitors for a 'fantastic evening', before going on to say, 'It is so reassuring to be reminded that music is so highly regarded in Haberdasher schools... it's a source of great joy to us. It was an incredibly hard decision because we had such positive things to say about all of you.'

The winner was Theo Sibtain for his beautiful piano rendition of Glinka's The Lark, the runner up Oliver Hodgkiss for his wonderful 'Rhapsody for Euphonium.'

This inaugural competition was such a success that it will now be an annual feature in the Haberdashers' Company calendar.  Many congratulations to Theo Sibtain, Oliver Hodgkiss, and to all who competed - you all did exceptionally well, and your schools, and Company, are proud of you.