Pimlico State High School year 10 student Emily McDonald is the winner of the 2018 Theodore Kuchar Scholarship.
The scholarship, presented by the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) in partnership with Townsville City Council, provides an annual recipient with $4,000 towards furthering their musicianship over their final two years of high school.
Emily said receiving the scholarship solidified her plans for the future.
“In school they always ask you to consider what you want to do after graduation and the first thing that always comes to my mind is music, so I’d definitely love to do something down that path and this scholarship will help towards that,” Emily said.
“I was obviously ecstatic when I found out I had won – it’s amazing and something I’ve been working towards for a long time, so hearing the news made me so happy. It’s involved lots of practice, and was nerve-racking because obviously there’s lots of other amazing musicians locally who went for this scholarship.”
AFCM Executive Director Gavin Findlay said there were a number of strong entries, however Emily won by unanimous decision.
“Emily had a terrific audition – you could tell immediately when she walked in, she was poised, focused, and she was there to perform her best. She gave a wonderful performance,” Gavin said.
“As part of the process we also interview auditionees for their musical knowledge and aspirations as a musician and she shone in those areas as well and is the complete package, a deserving recipient.
“Emily’s already been involved in AFCM activities in past years; she has been involved in our Junior Winterschool a number of times, and hopefully will participate again. There’s an advanced Winterschool aimed at tertiary students too, so we’ll hopefully see Emily return in that program, and hopefully one day performing on stage as part of the festival itself.”
Townsville City Council Community and Cultural Development Committee Member Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said the Theodore Kuchar Scholarship was an important way to foster local creatives.
“Council is definitely trying to encourage young creative talent through initiatives like this scholarship; $4,000 is a great amount of money for Emily to further her music studies and from here she can only go on to bigger and better things,” Cr Greaney said.
The Theodore Kuchar scholarship is offered to a Townsville grade 10 music student every year, with more information available here.