Rondos, you performed beautifully this afternoon. I am so impressed and thrilled and proud. Here are a few specifics, lest you think I’m just being vaguely nice:

1. The opening of And I Love Her was terrific, and the whole piece sounded relaxed and happy. Such a good start to the programme!

2. Y’all nail the first chord of Allegretto every time, and it always gives me shivers, and that was the case today, too. Your phrase endings were pristine. Every melody and counter-melody was well-defined. You built momentum through the entire piece, never giving too much away too early, and that is a difficult musical feat in a repetitive, deceptively simple piece!

3. You played the transitions and stylistic changes throughout How to Train Your Dragon beautifully. The opening was lovely and lyrical, the fast triplet section danced, the 3/4 section sounded gentle, and the march was crisp and full. And your crescendos! So exciting! Like powerful waves! It was such a pleasure to stand right in front and centre of them!

4. The last few measures of Oye Como Va = BEST ENDING EVER. It was together, it was confident, it was enthusiastic, and somehow y’all even managed to make it short and punchy in that super-boomy sanctuary. Amazing. Also, the two sudden piano sections were expertly executed and very dramatic. Quite simply, this tune just cooked, from beginning to end!

5. The very few times that things got out of sync, you stayed focused, maintained your composure, watched and listened, and very quickly came back together. I can’t overstate the level of skill and achievement that represents. In music, as in life, our success is not determined by lack of mistakes, but by the way we recover from them and what we learn in the process. In that, and so many other respects, today’s performance was a huge success. Congratulations!

6. Your smizes were exceptional. Tyra Banks would be proud. You are all Next Top Models.

Thank you, one last time and from the bottom of my heart, for a wonderful session. Enjoy your spring and summer, everyone, and I hope to have the pleasure of working with you again in the fall.

All the very best,