Fifteen-year-old St. Ignatius Catholic School student Gabrielle Best was selected as the Butterfield Young Musician of the Year on Saturday, 8 May, after an intense musical battle between the nine top instrumentalists in the 2021 National Children’s Festival of The Arts preliminary competition.
Cellist Greta Ecke, also of St. Ignatius, was named runner-up.
Gabrielle was at a loss for words when asked how she felt having won the competition.
“I am shocked! I really did not expect to win, but I’ve now realised that the mark scheme is not only about getting the notes right but also your use of artistry and emotion,” she said.
The competition, held at the Prospect Playhouse was adjudicated by esteemed music educators Glen Inanga, Stephanie Williams and Sue Horrocks. Prior to announcing the top two musicians, Inanga outlined the selection process.
“When judging instruments, we look at the entire package; the technicality, the musicality and the communication with the audience. Many of these come with the maturity and confidence to see beyond the technical phrases, to perform, and tell the piece of music as a story,” Inanga said.
Horrocks concurred, adding, “The contestants all did a tremendous job, especially with everything that has been going on and the disruptions to their studies. It makes it even sweeter to see this fantastic level of performance and musicianship.”