The finalists for the annual Butterfield Young Musician of the Year award met for an informal luncheon hosted at Butterfield Place in George Town on March 6.

Now in its 10th year, the award program showcases the extraordinary young, musical talent in the Cayman Islands.

With the finals approaching on April 1, those involved reflected on past years.

Looking back

“We’re pleased to be able to look back on the success of the event over the past 10 years, and are keen to improve each year by introducing valuable items, such as the meet and greet luncheon, as part of the schedule,” said Michael McWatt, managing director of Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd. “The level of talent is impressive; we have 10 finalists in this year’s competition and any one of them could claim the award.”

“The Department of Education Services is proud to continue our partnership with Butterfield for the Young Musician of the Year competition,” said Nicki Samuels, the department’s senior customer service officer. “The caliber of our students continues to astound us. It evidences the importance that is placed on this element of our children’s overall development by their families, teachers and community at large.

“We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to all our finalists who have displayed such diligence and dedication to reach this stage.”

Upcoming finals

The finalists will perform two contrasting pieces in their chosen category of vocal, piano, strings, woodwind or percussion, and an overall winner and runner-up will be selected by a panel of three international judges. The organizers welcome back John McLaughlin Williams, Grammy award-winning artist, and Stephanie Williams, an accomplished pianist, an educator and among those who collaborated to form the National Children’s Festival of the Arts, from which the finalists are chosen.

Dr. C. David Ragsdale, department chair of music at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, joins the other two judges for the first time.

The public is invited to the event on April 1 at the Prospect Playhouse Theatre. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the competition begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $5 for adults and $2 for children.

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