Salem’s First Digital Music Competition
by Ziyan Liu and Clemens Fiala, Abi1
Let the coronavirus pandemic nix our beloved music competition? Not at Salem!

The restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic have had a big impact on us musicians. For the majority of us music lessons take place online. Concerts have had to be cancelled – but how can we perform without the applause from an audience? We were extremely disappointed not to be able to perform this year in public. That is why our music teacher, Susanne Sigg, suggested holding the first Salem Digital Music Competition!

The Henning-Winter-Stiftung provided support for the digital competition that was organised by the Music Service of Salem International College. This year all participants made a video of themselves playing their chosen piece and submitted it to the jury. The competition was open to any kind of instrument. Hence the jury, which consisted of the Salem music teachers Thomas Braun and Tiloudin Anjarwalla, had to judge instrumental entries played on piano, horn, violin, trumpet, as well as vocal pieces. There were categories for different age groups. Our music teachers even offered to make digital recordings of their instrumental accompaniment.

In addition to the official musical recordings, we also introduced a new format this year. In a two-minute “best practice video” participants could live out their creative sides by filming a funny introduction or showing how they practiced their piece. Thus we got to see stuffed animals as attentive listeners, as well as musicians playing in every corner of Salem Castle or in Spetzgart Castle, with the lake as background. In some videos we could feel how strange and difficult the current situation is for making music.

At the time this newsletter went to press, the winners of the music competition had not yet been announced.

Ziyan Liu and Clemens Fiala, Abi1