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2023 young musicians' bursary competition winner cora hewitt with judges

Young Musicians’ Bursary Competition 2023 – Winner Announced!

On Monday 23 October the Canterbury Festival 2023 Young Musicians’ Bursary Competition was held at The Great Hall, Kent College.

As always, this event was fiercely competitive and a challenge to the talent, technical brilliance and musical poise of the performers. They played in front of a panel of distinguished judges; Dr Susan Wanless (Chair of Judges and Former Director of Music, University of Kent), Alastair Hume (Founding Member of The Kings Singers) and Emily Renshaw-Kidd (Director of Music, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys).

Dr Susan Wanless acknowledged the wonderfully “varied selection of instruments and pieces” from the 10 finalists. Sadly, there could only be one winner.

After much deliberation this year’s senior Young Musician Bursary Competition winner was announced as recorder player Cora Hewitt. She played two pieces – ‘Music for a Bird’ by Hans Martin Linde and ‘Tico Tico’ by Zequinha de Abreu, both accompanied by her teacher, Debbie Poro. Cora began playing recorder at the age of 7 and enjoys performing as a soloist and partaking masterclasses. She is passionate about everyone having the opportunity to access and engage with music. A huge congratulations to Cora and to our other participants who all demonstrated amazing technical talent and passion for their artform.

Cora will become Canterbury Festival Foundation Ambassador for the arts 2023-24, as well as receiving a £1,000 bursary to help develop her music studies; training opportunities or fund equipment. Canterbury Orchestra will also offer Cora the opportunity to perform with them as a soloist at one of their public concerts in Canterbury in 2024.

She would love to use her role as Ambassador to show that “anyone can learn to play an instrument, enjoy making music and develop skills which extend beyond music – listening, sharing experiences, learning, improving memory and developing self-expression and emotional empathy.”

We would like to thank all the amazing musicians who took part and look forward to next year’s Competition.