Piano classes were held on 2-3 March 2024, and 16 March. Performers and audience were treated to some fascinating insights by Luis Parés and Nigel Clayton, both of whom communicated their feedback with warmth and sensitivity.

The winner of the 2024 Senior Championship, Nelly Zhang will joining the 2023 winner in a Springboard Centenary Celebration Concert on 3 May 2024 as part of the Unitarian Church lunchtime series.

All those taking part in the final of the Junior Championship have been invited to visit the Richard Burnett Collection of Heritage Instruments in Tunbridge Wells.  

Every level, from beginner to accomplished performer, is catered for in Springboard’s piano classes. In competitive classes, marks are awarded, but in non-competitive classes only feedback is given.

There are graded classes and those defined by age-group (including those for adult learners) to ensure that players can participate in whatever environment they feel most comfortable.

Certain classes give performers the chance to qualify for the Junior or Senior Championship. Junior and Senior recital classes provide an opportunity to give a sustained performance of contrasting pieces.

In addition to solo classes, there are opportunities for duets and trios, and for family members to perform together. Our centenary year celebrations included a piece for four pianists at one piano.


Winners of Awards 2024

Junior Championship

Winner: Jamie Kong (The Edward Paxton White Memorial Cup)
Runner-up: Neo Crawford

Senior Championship

Winner: Nelly Zhang (The European Piano Teachers Association Challenge Cup)
Runner-up: Zyta Law

Junior Recital

Rio Baptista (The Christine Pembridge Cup 1)

Senior Recital

Peter Ostrovsky (The Christine Pembridge Cup 2)


  • The Doris Waymark Trophy 1 (Junior): Anju Kawashima
  • The Doris Waymark Trophy 2 (Senior): Hettie Hughes
  • The Brighton Hammond Organ Society Challenge Cup:  Ik Xee Lam
  • The Seventh Art Sonata Cup:  Neo Crawford
  • Ashleigh Cup: Jamie Kong
  • Lisa Childs Memorial Trophy:  Bernice Huang and Candis Lo
  • June Ingleton Cup: Zyta Law
  • The Roedean Cup awarded for highest mark across all sections of the festival:  Peter Ostrovsky
Heather Cowl, former piano section secretary. (Click on photo to read more about Heather).


Piano Rules

    1. One piece only to be played in each class unless otherwise stated.
    2. Any piece of music may be played only once in the Festival, except when used in the Final of the Junior or Senior Championship, of in Class 251, Play & Praise Concert.
    3. Graded Classes – Music chosen for the Graded Classes does not have to be from an exam syllabus but can include any style of music, including jazz, with the exception of Rule 5b – see below. The adjudicator’s decision as to the acceptable grading of the performer’s chosen piece will in all cases be final. The Piano Secretary will be happy to give advice on this.
    4. Time limits. Performers are asked to pay close attention to the time limit for each class. A performance that is over the time limit may not receive a mark in a competitive class.
    5. Jazz and light music
      a) Arrangements from shows will be accepted in Classes 220, *245 – *248.
      b) An arrangement of light music will be accepted in Graded Classes only if it is from a current or past syllabus of an established exam board.
    6. Repeats are not required unless Da Capo or Dal Segno is marked.
    7. A copy of the music to be played is required for the Adjudicator for all classes. (See Music Rules below regarding the copying of copyright works.)
    8. Performers are expected to announce the composer and title of the piece(s) they will be playing clearly and audibly at the start of their performance.
    9. Please note that Springboard reserves the right not to refund entry fees if an entrant decides to withdraw.

Music General Rules

Copies of own-choice works for the adjudicator

The Music Publishers Association has recently issued a revised Code of Practice on copying copyright works and the following concession is made for copying Own Choice pieces from volumes only for the adjudicator. Other items must not be photocopied without permission of the copyright holder in each case. “When an Own Choice work is selected from a publication containing several different works and which is not published separately, one copy may be made for the use of an adjudicator at a competition or festival provided that the competitor has already purchased his/her own copy and that the copy made is retained and destroyed by the administrator of the Competition or Festival immediately after the event. This permission specifically does not apply to set works.”

Performers are advised that this permission applies only to copyright holders who are members of The Music Publishers Association, listed at the back of the Code of Practice leaflet, obtainable from the Association at 6th Floor, British Music House, 26 Berners Street, London W1T 3LR. Tel. 020 7580 0126020 7580 0126

It is performers’ own responsibility to ensure that they seek permission to copy direct from any copyright holder whose name does not appear in the MPA list. Single copies of items may not be photocopied without prior permission of the copyright holder. The permission does not apply to making copies for the Accompanist, who should always be given a printed copy from which to work.

Photocopies for the Adjudicator must be totally legible or they may be refused.

Copyright guidance regarding internet downloads

Where music is downloaded from the internet, the performer must also print off and submit the permission statement accompanying the music. Please click here to see copyright guidance concerning internet downloads.

General Rules & Regulation

Please ensure that you read the Festival’s General Rules & Regulations, downloadable here.