Young Chef of the Year Competition
In line with the last 10 years of the local competition, plans for this year’s competition were developed in September, starting with discussions with Banbury & Bicester Campus of Active Learning Colleges regarding the hire of the kitchens and restaurant as a venue. Once the venue and date for use of the College for the Banbury heat cooking final were agreed all the secondary schools in the Banbury area were approached with full details of the competition asking for the appropriate staff members to encourage their students to take part and we were on the way!
Most of the schools expressed interest back in September and have taken part in the past but of course each year there is no certainty they will support the event again! As ever we await applications to see whether there is sufficient interest for the competition to take place.
The first stage of making an application with written details of their menus is required by the closing date – Friday 14th December.
Applicants are asked to cook two three-course meals in a two-hour period. On receipt of an adequate number of applications the normal paper assessment of applications will take place to select the most promising candidates with healthy menus. The eight finalists for the big day are then selected.
At last there will be certainty and we will carry on making the remainder of the arrangements for the final scheduled for Tuesday 8th January 2019.
The Main Event
After 2 hours of time-pressured cooking by the finalists the 3 experienced judges who have agreed to take part will then select a winner and runner-up. The evening will be concluded by the presentation of certificates for each Finalist and the trophies for the winner and runner up by the Town Mayor.
These two successful students are invited to take part in the next round of the overall National competition that takes place in Newbury on Saturday 19th January 2019.
The top three placed finalist in the National Competition will receive major trophies.
Full details of the competition and arrangements are available from Rotarian Bernard Goodchild firstname.lastname@example.org
Warriner Practice Interviews 2017
The final part of the Practice Interview Programme (PIP) conducted by Club this year was concluded on Wednesdays 5th July when 5 students from the Warriner School were interviewed for a second time as part of the competition to find the student who most impressed. All 5 students were worthy of their second interview, and each performed well.
In the end the 3 interviewers (Ashley and Rosemary Bedding, and Nigel Randall) easily agreed that Bethany Parish came across as the most impressive student, mainly because she showed that she was able to take full part in her school education whilst following her love of both stage and technical aspects of the theatre in school and AmDram productions, girl guiding and maintaining a social life whilst at the same time juggling her complex young carer duties for her single mum (who had mental and physical difficulties) and younger brother. In addition, she was already discussing with Oxford Brookes how she could study for a future career in the theatre whilst fulfilling her carer responsibilities. It was a very humbling experience speaking to her, more especially as she was only 15 years old.
My thanks go to all Rotarians and Friends of Club who volunteer to conduct the PIP interviews at BGN and the Warriner each year, and without whom this scheme would not be possible. Older Club members may recall that the late Rotarian John Meeres imported PIP from his previous Club ‘up North’ over 12 years ago. Below is a recent email from the Careers Leader at the Warriner that will hopefully endorse why the programme remains so important:
I would like to formally thank you and your colleagues for your valuable contribution to the careers education of our new Year 11 students. The interviews are the final careers activity of the year, following work experience and an enrichment day, and I have received a resounding positive feedback from all students which I would like to pass on to you.
Students commented that your team made them feel at ease and that they have developed a greater understanding about the purpose of an interview. This education is invaluable in terms of developing the confidence of young people to progress in the big wide world. Many students admitted to feeling very proud of themselves at have conducted themselves well and really appreciated the verbal and written feedback that was sensitively given. The certificates were well received and I don’t think we should underestimate their value either as there was a palpable sense of pride as students received them.
I framed the certificates for the finalists and these students gained a lot of respect from their peers who were pleasantly surprised that it was not ‘the expected’ finalists and that the ultimate winner was perhaps in their eyes now someone who has risen significantly in the whole school’s estimation. Bethany burst in to tears when accepting the news she had won and if you and your colleagues look on the Warriner Facebook page for will see (as well as pictures) that the comments from her relatives are a pleasure to read. Her personal confidence will no doubt have received a significant boost. She no doubt has a fantastic future awaiting her.
Finally, my apologies for the Mock exams inconvenience: no one was more disappointed than myself at the problems it caused but thank you for the flexibility and patience demonstrated by your magnificent team. Your work is much appreciated by students, the wider Warriner community and myself.
Yours sincerely, Nigel Smith, Careers Leader
Mary Wins District Finals
Mary Eckert, runner-up in the Banbury Young Musician senior singing section went one better in the District Finals last Saturday, winning the competition and securing a place in the forthcoming regional finals to be held at the end of March.
The Tudor Hall student impressed the judges with her virtuosity by singing “Vedrai Carino” by Mozart, “Somewhere” from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story (the piece she sang at one of this month’s Purple4Polio Concerts at St Mary’s Church Banbury) and “Per La Gloria D’Adorarvi” by Giovanni Bononcini.
Gala Mid-Summer Evening Concert
As a result of the success of our Gala Mid-Summer Evening Concert we will be donating £2,500 to Katharine House Hospice.
This year celebrates 25 years of running the Banbury Young Musician of the Year Competition under the expert guiding hand of Rtn. Gareth Jeremy, who has undertaken this task with the impressive enthusiasm and commitment that we have come to expect from him.
Thanks to the great success of the event, our Club has benefitted from some great publicity in producing winners that have moved on to great things in the world of music.
To celebrate these achievements, Gareth organised a Gala Mid-Summer Evening Concert held at Tudor Hall School on Sunday 21st June.
Past Young Musician of the Year winners who are now professional or semi-professional musicians entertained us with a potpourri of musical genres from the avant-garde to classical in recognition of the role that the Young Musician Competition has played in their musical career.
Performances were given by:
- Marcel Zidani – winner in 1991
- Bethany Porter – winner in 2000
- Lucy Downer – winner in 2003
- Kris Reader – winner in 2004
- Umito Choji – winner in 2007
- William Dibble – runner up in 2012 District 1090 Competition
- Tavia Lewis – winner in 2015
lan Brodey, a former member of the club and the Chairman of one of the town’s major engineering enterprises, Norbar Torque Tools Ltd, was a practicing mechanical engineer who, in his will, left a sum of money to the Rotary Club of Banbury for the club to use at its discretion.
The Rotary Club, with the support of Ian’s family, decided to use his bequest to help students who propose to attend a recognised British university full-time for three years to study for a first degree in any Engineering Discipline, e.g. Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Process Engineering. The first award was made at the end of the school year commencing September 2006, since. when there have been a further ten holders of the bursaries studying at universities. The Rotary Club plans to award up to two bursaries annually.
To be considered for any award, a student must be a British citizen with a main home lying within a ten mile radius of Banbury Cross and to have lived at that address for the whole of the two years spent studying their A levels, which should preferably, be in a school also in the defined area. Consideration will also be given to otherwise qualified students who need to study outside the ten mile zone because of the unavailability of their chosen course within it.
Application forms giving full details of the procedure for obtaining the awards, will be provided to Heads of Science Departments in all local schools and colleges where A level students planning to study engineering disciplines are taught. These forms may also be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com. They should be completed no later than the time when the A level entry forms are completed and then returned.
Awards to suitable, selected candidates will be made, following a short interview, soon after the publication of A level results and the confirmation of places at universities i.e. in early September.
Applicants will be required to supply proof of both their results and offer of a place before the interview.
On 21st March Banbury teenager, Christina Welz, our Banbury Young Chef and District 1090 winner took part in the Rotary Young Chef Regional final at Westminster Kingsway College.
Out of 8 finalists she was awarded runner-up prize, only one point behind the winner, after cooking an impressive 3 course meal which won high praise from the judges.
Christina was runner up of 8 contestants from 4 Districts, all 8 had come through from around 1,000 entries at Club & District Final levels.
The judges were Tony Tobin (well-known TV Chef), Christopher Basten (Chair of Craft Guild of Chefs and Chef Lecturer at Westminster Kingsway College), and Stuart Williams (Operations Manager for Thomas Franks Contract Caterers).
Contestants brief was to cook a healthy 3 course meal for 2 people for £15 or less.
Congratulations to Christina and to the winner Lewis Wilson from Horsham.
Banbury Young Musician of the Year 2015
Tavia Lewis was crowned Banbury Young Musician of the Year 2015 on Saturday 28th February when 50 talented young musicians came together at Sibford School to perform for the Finals of this year’s Banbury Young Musician of the Year Competition.
Starting at 4.00pm we were treated to some wonderful performances by the “Junior” competitors in the competition (8 to 11 year olds). It was wonderful to see so much talent in such young people, and after much debate the adjudicators awarded the prize of Junior Young Musician of the Year 2015 to Jessica Foxwell.
By 6.30pm a packed audience had gathered for the start of the “Intermediate” (12 to 15 year olds), and “Senior” (16 to 19 year olds), competitions. We were then given a potpourri of musical performances ranging from improvised rock, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Andrew Lloyds Webber show tunes to Sibelius, Schumann and Liszt, something for everyone’s taste.
With so many talented and varied performances the adjudicators had an extremely difficult task in selecting the winners of each section, and even more so this year’s overall winner.
So very many congratulations go to Tavia Lewis Banbury Young Musician of the Year 2015.
Our thanks go to our adjudicators at the Finals, Mark Paine, Michael Bochmann and Marcel Zidani, as well as competition organiser Rtn. Gareth Jeremy and his supporting team of fellow Rotarians.
Banbury Young Musician Heats
Friday 16th and Saturday 17th January saw over 70 talented young musicians competing in three age ranges with eight different categories to win places in this year’s Young Musician Finals on Saturday 28th February.
As in previous years the standard achieved by the young musicians gets higher and higher giving the adjudicators and extremely hard task of selecting those who would go through to the finals.
The Finals being held at Sibford School on Saturday 17th will be a showcase event of the many extremely musically talented young people in the Banbury area, so make sure you have the date in your diar
Practice Interviews at the Warriner School
Warriner School Practice Interviews.
Forty volunteers – 18 Rotary Club of Banbury members and 22 other volunteer colleagues – have just conducted practice interviews with 225 students from Year 10 at the Warriner School over three days.
The scheme requires 14 to 15 year old students to submit their CV and a practice letter of application, for a job or course of instruction ahead of facing a panel of two interviewers during a 30 minute session.
From the outset, interviewers focus on gaining the student’s confidence so that they talk as freely as possible about themselves, their interests, experience, skills and ambitions. Being as positive as possible, students are assessed and provided with appropriate feedback (both verbally and in written form) all with a view to improving the future performance of these young individuals under interview conditions.
There is a competitive element to being interviewed for a job in real life, and we try to replicate this – at the schools’ request – by identifying a few outstanding candidates and inviting them to come to a second interview. This leads to the selection of a star interviewee who receives a £50 book token prize. This photo shows five of the six students invited for second interview this year, together with Rotary interviewers and a Warriner teacher.
The Practice Interview Programme (PIP) was introduced to the Banbury Club over 10 years ago by the late Rotarian John Meeres, who imported it from his previous Club in Thornaby & Yarm. Blessed George Napier was the first school in Banbury to participate, covering some 140 Year 10 pupils each year. The scheme was later extended to include a similar annual interview for 225 students at The Warriner School in Bloxham.
Recent spin-offs include, a regular programme of interviews conducted as part of a Banbury Young Homeless Project mentoring scheme for disadvantaged young people, and individual practice interviews for suitable Frank Wise school 6th form students.
We currently have nearly 60 regular volunteer interviewers on our database, all of whom feel that taking part in the PIP process is an enlightening experience, and a good opportunity to observe how the new generations are coping with current educational, social and employment environments.
There are only just enough Club Members and volunteer interviewers to run PIP in its current form, without placing too much commitment on individuals. So, if you are interested in supporting this worthy programme, or know of suitable individuals with business or HR experience that might be interested in taking part, please contact the Hon Assistant Secretary at the Rotary Club of Banbury by email
Rotarian Nigel Randall