A handful of young, local musicians have been recognised for their discipline and talent at this year's Registered Music Teachers Rotorua Senior Music Scholarship event.

Ten musicians each prepared a 20-minute programme on their chosen instrument, to compete for a scholarship yesterday.

The branch's vice chairwoman Jenny Brown said all competitors were of a Grade 6 to Diploma standard and "the quality of musicianship was of a high standard".

During the day trials, the adjudicator James Tennant listened carefully to each piece presented, many of which were memorised by the performers, speaking briefly to each competitor at the end of their programme.


Tennant is a renowned music lecturer at Waikato University, specialising in cello tuition and music interpretation.

The finals concert was held last night at the Ascot Room of Rydges Hotel, Rotorua.

Each contestant chose a work or works to play for six minutes to the audience and the adjudicator.

Six finalists were then chosen, and they played for another six minutes.

The pieces played ranged from works by Handel, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Haydn and Liszt to modern composers such as Copland, Gillock, Sculthorpe and others.

Nell Trail Junior Scholarship winner, Lucille Pagaduan, played two contrasting pieces called Rain and Tango Passionis.

Nell Trail Intermediate Scholarship winner, Lauren Smith played Andante in A by Haydn and Two Little Birds by Hutchens.

Brown said the two younger performers "portrayed well the character of their pieces and wowed the audience".


Tennant gave his placements and explained that he looked for performers who were able to convey the character and message of the music to their audiences and go further than playing the notes correctly in a technical way.

He also mentioned that contestants who had memorised the works they played were freed from the mechanics of reading the music and were then able to show the composer's style of writing and the expressions he wanted to be shown in his compositions.

Winner of the $1000 Scholarship: pianist Fergus Byett from Taupō
Second place $500: pianist Euan Robinson from Rotorua
Third place $300: pianist Veronica Chen from Rotorua
ANZCA Best 20th/21st Century Composition: Eden Clapperton from Taupō, for Mountains by Sculthorpe
Chou Best Piano Solo: to Veronica Chen, for Butterfly Op 43 No 1 by Grieg
Best Presentation Cup: to Fergus Byett