Young Musicians in Tune for Success

In HUXLEY'S Next Gen feature, we caught up with aspiring professional musician and Townsville local Elena James.

Townsville year 10 students have less than two weeks to apply for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s Theodore Kuchar Scholarship, with applications closing on Tuesday 6 November.

The $4000 scholarship assists the successful recipient with music studies in grades 11 and 12, with previous winners using the funds to travel and be mentored by the best musicians in their field.

2016 scholarship recipient, Pimlico State High School’s Elena James, said she would not be where she is today without it.

“It’s highly likely I wouldn’t be in the position I am in without the scholarship – it’s extremely expensive travelling, finding accompanists, rehearsals, and training with renowned musicians so the scholarship was instrumental in making sure that financial burden never became too much and meant I could continue on,” Elena said.

“I was awarded the Theodore Kuchar Scholarship in 2016 and I’ve been on quite a journey since. Recently I was awarded a scholarship to the University of Queensland where I’ll study a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts next year. I was also recently informed that I’ve been accepted into the Australian Youth Orchestra Music Camp for 2019 which is really exciting.

“I hope I’m a role model for all year 10 students who are considering applying for the scholarship – it’s a wonderful opportunity and I encourage everyone to apply whether you’re considering a career in music or it’s just a passion.”

Executive Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music Gavin Findlay said the opportunity the scholarship gave to local students was one-of-a-kind.

“The Theodore Kuchar Scholarship is just open to students in Townsville, it isn’t statewide or across the country because we want it to support the incredible upcoming talent here in our city,” said Gavin.

“Elena is a great example of where the scholarship can take you, about to head off on the AYO Music Camp. That was my own pathway to becoming a professional player too, so it’s really great to see she’s already on that path.”

Applications for the Theodore Kuchar Scholarship are open to Townsville grade 10 music students, and close at 5pm on Tuesday 6 November. Following auditions, the successful recipient will be announced on Monday 12 November. For more information, click here.

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