Cayman Arts Festival will present “Music Bazaar” on Saturday, May 19, in the Marriott Resort ballroom – a fundraising event to help the not-for-profit entity continue to support its various initiatives and programs.
“Cayman Arts Festival is excited to be able to present this groundbreaking concert, which will be the first of its kind,” says Marius Gaina, executive director. “This is where we will be able to showcase all students who are currently enrolled in our after-school programs.”
The Cayman Arts Festival organization has been providing extra-curricular instrumental tuition to students in a number of government primary schools across the island for the past four years, thanks to sponsorship from RBC Dominion Securities. These group tuition lessons have targeted gifted and talented students, and with instruments often provided by Cayman Arts Festival, the results have been spectacular.
After four years of intensive work, more than 100 students are ready to perform to a high standard. Performers include the Cayman Arts Festival Jazz Quartet, Greenlight Double String Quartet, RBC Dominion Securities String Group, the Cayman Youth Choir, Butterfield Musician of the Year finalist Jayden Hanna (soloist), 2017 Luzerne Music scholarship recipient and 2018 Butterfield Musician of the Year runner-up Dequan Smith (cellist), and two of the most outstanding young pianists on island, Mark Plowright and Cameron Gilson.
For the second half of the evening, long-standing friends of the festival will come out to support the event and to continue the entertainment: renowned pianists Glen Inanga and Allie Cortens, Louise Spencer (soprano), Arek Nicholson (tenor) and Lauren Knuckey (clarinetist).
They will play works by Georges Bizet (Part I of “Jeux d’Enfants”) and Poldowski, among others. Poldowski’s works are now little-known, but her music was celebrated throughout England and Europe in the early 20th century; her songs show echoes of Debussy’s Impressionistic style and tonality.
Following graduation from Clare College, University of Cambridge, as a British Council Scholar where he read the Engineering Tripos and received his master of arts degree in 1998, Inanga studied with Martin Roscoe at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
He has performed internationally as a concert pianist soloist, as a duo pianist with the multiple award-winning Micallef-Inanga Duo, as well as a chamber musician collaborating in recordings on the Sono Luminus label with Grammy award-winning artists Eliesha Nelson and John McLaughlin Williams.
In February 2004, he launched the Cayman Arts Festival.
Originally from Cornwall, England, Knuckey was a prominent member in many ensembles as both an oboist and violinist.
She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has toured across Europe and played in major U.K. music venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Following her graduation in 2010, she began working as an instrumental teacher in and around London. Her passion for music and teaching inspired her to train professionally as a teacher.
Allie Cortens pursued her musical studies in Canada, receiving her associate of the Royal Conservatory (Toronto) diploma and her bachelor of music degree with distinction at the University of Victoria, both in piano performance.
Cortens studied piano with Susan Olsen and Bruce Vogt and performed in master classes with such distinguished artists as Janina Fialkowska and Anton Kuerti.
She also attended several summer music programs, including the Centre d’Arts Orford in Québec.
She has performed solo recitals, accompanied a number of choirs, and taught piano as well as music theory. However, chamber music is her first love and she takes every opportunity to collaborate with other performers.
Arek Nicholson is a singer, sax player and degree holder in music education with a major in voice from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada.
His musical influences include many from the bygone years – Al Green, Frank Sinatra (“You don’t have voices like that anymore”) and the rock and pop classics that his parents listened to when he was growing up.
He has also been involved in productions at the Prospect Playhouse Theatre, notably as musical director for its recent production of “Footloose.”
Tickets for “Music Bazaar” are US$30 for adults and US$10 for students and can be bought online at caymanartsfestival.com. Visit caymanartsfestival.com or Cayman Arts Festival’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page for more information. Alternatively, call 922-5550 or email [email protected]