February 22, 2020

Cayman Islands: 2019 Butterfield Young Musician of the Year named


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Dequan Smith at NCVO telethon ieyenews File

Last Saturday (4) evening saw 11 student finalists from seven of Cayman’s public and private schools perform to a packed audience—inclusive of His Excellency the Governor Mr. Martyn Roper, OBE and Mrs. Elisabeth Roper—and a panel of international judges at the 12th Annual Butterfield Young Musician of the Year 2019.

Finalist performed two contrasting pieces, each displaying an exceptional mastery of their respective instruments to judges and audience alike.
Returning international judges Stephanie Williams and Dr. Catherine Rand, along with a new international judge Lori Burnett, undertook the difficult task of evaluating each performance by the talented finalists.

When asked about the level of competition Dr. Rand commented “It’s great to see student representation from over half of Cayman’s senior schools. I’ve had the privilege of judging at several of the Butterfield Young Musician competitions over the years, and each time I return it becomes increasingly difficult for us to select only one winner. There’s an incredible amount of young talent on this island and I look forward to seeing it grow”.

Cellist Dequan Smith of John Gray High School, thrilled with his renditions of Kol Nidre by Max Bruch and Elegie by Faure, and was ultimately named the Butterfield Young Musician of the Year 2019.

The ‘runner up’ title was awarded to pianist Cameron Gilson, an A-Level student at St. Ignatius Catholic School, who delighted with his performances of Prelude in B Minor by Chopin and Sonatire 2nd Movement by Ravel.

“Each year I feel this competition reaches its zenith, only to return and see the bar has been increased once again. Congratulations to Dequan, Cameron and all our finalists. Music is an art form with the power to bring people together and tonight was no exception. Thank you to our partners the Government and to the Cayman Drama Society for use of the Prospect Playhouse,” said MichaelMcWatt, Managing Director, Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited.

All 11 competitors received a trophy for their participation on reaching the finals for the 2019 competition.

The first place winner and runner up also received trophies and cash awards courtesy of Butterfield.

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