Monday, October 15, 2012


Saturday, October 13th was not just a perfectly beautiful Spring day in Esk.  It was a perfectly beautiful Spring day to be at St Agnes's Hall in Esk for the 2012 Amateur Classical and Jazz Music Awards.  Hosted by the Esk Community Choir, twenty courageous Musicians strutted their stuff in front of a capacity audience and a Music Judge all of whom were enthralled  by the breadth of talent from the Somerset and Lockyer Valley Regions.
Alexis FitzGerald
Mr Brendan Scully
This event, first held in 2004,  was initiated by Alexis FitzGerald, Director of the Esk Community Choir.  With her all-consuming passion for music, both instrumental and voice and with a wish to encourage in, primarily,  but not only the youth of this Region an enduring love of Classical Music and the performance of it, the Amateur Classical Music Awards was born.  Held every two years and in the latter years, to include the performance of Jazz music alongside Classical,  with a view to promoting this love of Music to a wider Community,  this year the Event also allowed the inclusion of entrants from the Lockyer Valley Region.
Sections from Age 7 years and under through to Open, all catering for instrumental, vocal, solo and duet were represented.  Some stood bravely before the audience and performed for the very first time.  For others it was obvious that their talents had been nurtured along the way.  Every competitor gave exemplary performances and was rewarded with enthusiastic applause as well as some gentle encouragement and comments from Music Judge,  Mr. Brendan Scully, accomplished musician and Head of Music at the Sunshine Coast Grammar School.  Thanks to the generous sponsorship this year by Esk's St John Biarra Lodge No. 73, Section winners were awarded handsome medals and prizes.
Seven year old Katie FitzGerald's touch on the piano for her performance of  "Jingle Bells " showed evidence of the musical talent that runs through her veins but it's tough being seven years old and first off the block!  Little Bella Seymour followed and played to win.   By the time Katie's turn at singing came around she handled "Let's Go Fly a Kite" just like an old pro. and took out Sectional 1st prize for her efforts.  Sister Emily, with poise and precision and at the tender age of 9 already an "old pro" by comparison, won each of her four sections for voice and piano.  Two of Emily's winning performances were duets with the standout young  talent at these Awards, Matthew Lukritz.  At 13years of age,  as a Cornet player, Matthew is already a member of the Mt Beppo Brass Band.  With his superlative performances today on the piano, Cornet and with Emily in vocal and piano duets and with his supportive and nurturing characteristics,  Matthew's musical future is looking very bright.   There was promising young flautist Shania Gough,  brother Darien's fluid performances on Classical Guitar, little Harry Seymour's first valiant performance on  piano and Samuel Weber's piano blues medley that blew everyone away.  Talena Harvey's lovely rendition of Sonatina by Clementi and tiny in stature but big in talent, singer, Aydan Forsyth who, it was commented,  may have been born for the stage.  All of these brought together by their love of music and all worthy of the high praise received.  The inclusion of entries from the Lockyer Valley Region has certainly given this event  a broader profile but it was also very heartening to see such wonderful talent coming from the Toogoolawah area.
The open section Competitors provided some tough competition with their wealth of musical experience evident.  In certain sections, picking winners presented its challenges.  But this was not about winners and losers.  It was about having a platform from which to display their talents.  It was about using the event to build confidence and to learn and grow from Brendan's constructive comments.  It was all "for the love of Music" and,  encouraged by this,  it is hoped that for the youth,  it continues to provide a stepping stone to an enduring love of Classical and Jazz Music,  that more and more will recognize the benefits of this Music Festival and submit their entries.  It is about the lifelong  joys that making music can bring.

7 Yrs and under:   1st...Bella Seymour   2nd... Katie FitzGerald
9 Yrs and under:   1st...Emily FitzGerald
11Yrs and under:  1st...Samuel Weber; 2nd..Shania Gough;  3rd... Harry Seymour
13Yrs and under:  1st...Matthew Lukritz (Cornet);  2nd...Darien Gough;  3rd..Talena Harvey
Open:                   1st....Suzanne Clemence;  2nd... Russell Zammit

13 Yrs and under:  1st Emily FitzGerald & Mathew Lukritz

7 Yrs and under:    1st... Katie FitzGerald
9 Yrs and under:    1st....Emily FitzGerald;  2nd..Aydan Forsyth

13 Yrs & Under     1st...Emily FitzGerald  Matthew Lukritz

Open:                     1st...Kathleen Watts;  2nd..John Caffin;  3rd...Anna Wheildon

Open:                     1st...Kathleen Watts & Geoff Stewart;  2nd..Catherine Conn & Geoff Stewart

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