A select few talented young musicians from the South Coast gave outstanding performances on the weekend and were awarded prizes for their expertise in the St Cecilia Youth Music Scholarships 2017.
The 2017 St Cecilia Music Concert opened with a guest performance by Ayden McDonald, the recipient of the St Cecilia Tertiary Scholarship 2017.
Ayden will use the money from the scholarship to further his tertiary studies. He played Trois Etudes de Concert, Un Sospiro by Liszt.
Annette Chapman, president of the Moruya CWA, sponsored and presented prizes to winners Jack Gallen and Luke Shooks. Jack Gallen, with his masterful technique on electric guitar, played the rhythm and blues inspired ballad Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix to take second prize in the Senior Contemporary section. Luke Shooks on electric guitar also played the Hendrix number Little Wing. Both junior and senior winners Luke and Jack look forward to playing gigs with groups and "be famous in the future".
Hayley Chown, on piano, played the foot-tapping Jazzin' Around by Martha Mier to win third place in the Junior Contemporary category.
Tara Watts and Caitlin Douglas, both from Moruya, played piano pieces with talent and skill. Tara was third in the Senior Contemporary with her piano piece Feeling Good by Brian Bonsor. Sponsored by the South Coast Music Society, Caitlin was third in the Senior Classical division with her piano piece Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin.
Joanna Eltherington lifted the emotions singing Defying Gravity by Stephen Schwartz from the musical Wicked to win her first prize in the Senior Contemporary division generously sponsored by Batemans Bay Rotary.
Although Caitlin and Johanna were absent from the concert ― pursuing their musical interests further afield ― the audience thoroughly enjoyed the recorded performances by the two talented music students.
Other first place, and first class, winning performances were by Luke Bowen on piano, Amelie Ziino on violin, Dejan Kanazir on piano and Anna Browne on vocals and acoustic guitar.
Anna's strong voice for so young a talent was a most pleasing vocal opening to the afternoon. Anna accompanied herself on guitar as she sang Amy Winehouse's Tears Dry on their Own. She managed the highs and lows of a large vocal range with great ease.
Eight-year-old Amelie Ziino, who plays the piano as well as violin, played a movement of Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in G major on violin, accompanied by her brother, Luca, on piano. Amelie's sensitive delivery and delightful style won the audience.
In the Junior Classical section the adjudicators, music educators John Gilbert and Craig Woodland from Canberra Grammar, decided to award two first prizes.
Equal first with Amelie was Dejan Kanazir. On piano he superbly played Novelette by Dmitri Kabalevsky. Dejan and Amelie are two young promising talents.
Second Prize Junior Classical, sponsored by PerfEx, went to Mora Fiedler. Mora's delightful delivery of the beautiful Beethoven Moonlight Sonata was played with sensitivity and flair.
The outright winner of the concert was Luke Bowen who came first in the Senior Classical section with his brilliant piano performance of Debussy's Jardins sous la pluie (Garden in the rain). Played with a professional technique and energetic expression, Luke was deservedly the first-place winner.
Luke's first prize of $1000, the Jenny Rigby Memorial Award sponsored by Moruya CWA, will go towards his music lessons with his teacher Tania McGrath. Luke says "I practice every day and I'm preparing for my exams in 2018."
Last year's winner, Luca Ziino, was a fitting talent to close the afternoon's performances. Luca is an amazingly gifted pianist who charmed the audience with his artistic playing of the allegro from Impromptu No. 2 by Schubert.
Luca accepted the Maria de Rocco Award and also received a surprise gift of one of Maria's treasured pieces of music memorabilia, a score of Mozart's work which belonged to Maria's father.
Maria de Rocco is the Founder of the St Cecilia Youth Music Scholarship, and her contagious and exuberant enthusiasm is an inspiration to the youth she has supported for more than 22 years.