The major winners of the 2023 St Cecilia Youth Music Scholarships are Sakura Tinker and Raphi Herford.
Presented at the Finalist Concert on Sunday, November 19, each contestant won $1,000 towards their tuition and the further development of their significant musical talents.
A total of $6000 in scholarships was presented to the eleven finalists after they delighted the audience with performances of their chosen pieces at the St Bernard's Church concert.
The concert is an important part of the selection process as students are encouraged to hone their skills in front of an audience.
"It really pushed me to improve my pieces and it was great to see how everyone improved through participation in the auditions and concert," said 15-year-old Sakura Tinker after her classical piano performance.
Raphi Herford, who has just completed her HSC, won for contemporary vocal.
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She appeared relaxed and confident at the concert and also appreciated the opportunity to perform for the community.
"There was such a range of genre, experience and instruments," she said. "I'm more comfortable with my stage performance now."
The St Cecilia Music Scholarships have been running since 1995, however the event is only now re-gaining momentum after struggling through COVID-19 and the loss of key people from the committee.
It is supported by Eurobodalla Shire Council, The CWA, Batemans Bay Rotary, The South Coast Music Society, and individual sponsors.
Gilmore MP, Fiona Phillips, attended and said she was excited to experience the talent and dedication of the music students. Adjudicator Sally Greenaway, an accomplished musician and composer, also attended and encouraged students to continue striving for excellence and enjoyment.
St Cecilia President, Jess Farrell - herself a past winner - said the work of the committee and the community to provide these scholarships and encourage these students was very important.
"I know how significant this encouragement can be in the lives of young musicians and the entire community benefits when they share their abilities through performance," she said.
Many of the students said their ambitions were to be in bands, to perform for friends and family, and pursue music as a career.
Other winners from the event included:
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