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Wanted: Best young musicians/musos on the coast

Entries are now being taken for the 2017 St Cecilia Youth Music Scholarships.The president of the committee that runs the scholarships, Mr Chris Heazlewood, said that this is the 22nd consecutive year of the awards.

"I am very pleased to announce that this year we have increased the total value of the awards to $5700, making it one of the most valuable music awards for young people in Australia," said Chris. "There will be 12 individual awards with the two top senior awards being $1000 each."

Classical and contemporary musicians between the ages of 8 and 18 living in the municipalities of Eurobadalla, Bega Valley and the Shoalhaven are encouraged to enter the auditions.There is a senior and junior age division .The auditions will be held at St Peter's Anglican College in Broulee on October 21 and 22.

Following the auditions 12 finalists will be announced to perform at the annual gala finalists' concert at St Bernard Church, Batehaven on Sunday 26 November starting at 3pm. "Mark that date and time in your diary now," said Chris, "as it is always a truly wonderful concert."

For full details,entry form, rules and guidelines visit our website at www.stcecilia.org.au or phone our president, Chris Heazlewood on 0417 532 358. Every year in October a set of auditions with independent adjudicators is held for music students from 8 to 18 years of age and ten scholarships are awarded ranging from $100 merit awards to scholarships worth $1,000. One of these scholarships is the Maria de Rocco prize named after the founder of the association. Following the auditions an award winners concert is held in November as close as possible to St Cecilia’s day in which the scholarship holders receive their awards and, together with guest musicians, play in front of a public audience. The scholarships can only be spent on items or services that further the student’s musical education. Initially the awards were restricted to students from the Eurobodalla Shire but as interest in the scholarships widened to neighbouring Shires the ESCMS changed its constitution a few years ago to encompass neighbouring Shires in the Region. The Association receives an annual grant from the Eurobodalla Shire Council Arts budget of around $2,000. The remaining scholarship costs as well as all operating costs are funded through entrance fees and charges for the auditions and concert, and through generous donations from the general public. The ESCMS is run by volunteers, and all donations from the public attract Australian Taxation Office tax deductibility status. The ESCMS continues to explore new ways of enriching the musical experiences of young musicians and in 2003 commenced a visiting artists program. Experienced musicians are brought to Batemans Bay from Canberra or Sydney to present a Saturday master class or set of workshops on a particular instrument and, to date, seven such events have been held covering piano, voice, guitar and wind instruments. These classes are at no charge to the students. Following the classes, the invited musicians perform an evening recital for our donors and supporters, and, on occasions, the public in general.

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