This year was the twentieth anniversary of St Cecilia Music Scholarships founded by Maria de Rocco in 1995.
Auditions for the awards were held at St Peter’s School, Broulee in mid-October. There were over 30 entries for the adjudicators Louise Hankinson and Merinda Hurren to judge and the entrants included a recorder and an electric guitar player. (For many years Don Whitbread has been an adjudicator but decided to retire from the role this year; thank you Don for your tremendous support for St Cecilia).
Three previous winners of the top award opened the concert on November 22nd, St Cecilia’s day. Cellist Bernadette Morrison won in 2005 and violinist Jessie Regan in 2010; both are now professional musicians. The third was Ayden McDonald, winner in 2014; he has since moved to Sydney to further his music education.
The compere at the concert was Ian Campbell from ABC radio Bega. Around 200 were in the audience and they enjoyed an hour’s worth of entertainment. The presenters were Jeannie Brewer, Marion Roubos-Bennett of PerfEx, Julie Stuart, President of the South Coast Music Society, Alan Russell, past President of the Batemans Bay Rotary Club, Annette Chapman, President of the Moruya CWA, Maria de Rocco, and Eurobodalla Shire Mayor, Lindsay Brown.
On the Tuesday after the concert a reporter and camera man from WIN Television met up with a number of award winners in order to have a segment on WIN News recognising the St Cecilia Music Scholarships’ significance in the music scene in the Eurobodalla Shire.
Also in recognition of the anniversary professional film maker Len Glasser has produced a film of the auditions and concert and Maria de Rocco has produced a book covering the twenty years.