Buskers’ Sandy Showcase

Australian Festival of Chamber Music Busking Competition Creative Commendation winners Flynn Mintern, Cohan Russell and Cobi Connolly (guitars L-R) and Lauren Atkinson (cornet), with overall winner Michael Carroll (cello).

Townsville Grammar School’s Michael Carroll won the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s annual Busking Competition yesterday afternoon.

The 16-year-old cellist joined a number of students from high schools across Townsville to showcase their musical talents along the Strand for both the public and judges.

Michael took out most outstanding performance, while creative commendations were awarded to both Lauren Atkinson (cornet) and guitar trio Cohan Russell, Cobi Connolly and Flynn Mintern.

Michael said his involvement with music began at a young age.

“I’ve been playing cello for at least 10 years now. My mother got me started in music, she took me to lessons and made me practice – but I definitely want to continue after high school, I really enjoy it now,” said Michael.

“I’ve been to [AFCM] concerts for the past four years now. I think it’s great for Townsville because it’s by far the biggest event we get for music and it’s fun, with a lot of really good musicians visiting our city.

“There’s quite a lot of opportunity to perform at Townsville Grammar itself which is great too, and the school publicises competitions like this one really well so we all knew about it and could enter.”

The busking competition was one of several education opportunities provided by the Festival this year, with Winterschool masterclasses, internships, and the Theodore Kuchar Scholarship all gaining a lot of interest.

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music offers another three full days of events across the Townsville region – tickets are still available to most, before the sold-out Festival Farewell on Saturday night. Find a full calendar of events on the Festival website

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