Four young Bega Valley musicians will share prize money of $5700 after being named finalists in the annual St Cecila Youth Music Scholarships.
At the finalists' concert held at St Bernard's Church in Batehaven on November 24, siblings Luca and Amelie Ziino from Merimbula, and sisters Rachel and Chantelle Bennett from Bega were presented with their prize.
The audience at the concert enjoyed the musical talents of 12 young performers (aged 10-18) from the region taking in Bomaderry to Merimbula. They performed music from classical and contemporary using instrument or voice.
Luca won the Senior Classical award of $1000 with a dramatic performance on the piano of "V11 Regard de la Croix" (from Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant Jesus by Messiaen) while his sister Amelie came second in the Junior Classical section with a beautiful rendition on violin (with her brother accompanying her on piano) of "Vocalise Opus 34, No. 14" by Rachmaninoff.
Sisters Rachel and Chantelle performed their own composition, with Rachel on vocals and accompanied by Chantelle on piano. The song, "Just You and Me", secured Rachel third place in the Senior Contemporary category ($350) with her clear and impressive vocal range. Chantelle went on to play a moving performance on violin of some of Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances, scoring third place in Senior Classical ($350).
This is the fourth year Luca has won an award at the scholarships, three of these were for first in Senior Classical. It is Amelie's third year of being a finalist and Chantelle's second.
All four performers demonstrated great skill with their showcase of exceptional talent at such an early age.
Money awarded to the winners must go towards their music expenses. For more information on the scholarships visit www.stcecilia.org.au.