At the 25th Anniversary Gala Concert the inaugural Kāpiti Chorale Award in Vocal Performance was announced.
The first recipient of the award is 20 year old Amelia Berry of Titahi Bay.
This will be an annual award of $250 going to the most deserving voice student progressing from second to third year of study in classical performance. Consideration will be given to academic merit and sustained effort.
Julie Coulson, the Chair of the Scholarships Committee, New Zealand School of Music, stated:
The New Zealand School of Music is delighted to accept the Kāpiti Chorale's generous offer of an annual award in vocal performance for one of our students. The support of the musical community means a lot to us - quite literally you are our foundation, future and fellow companions. The decision to place the award at singers advancing from second to third year is an excellent one. In many ways the second year is the most challenging and least rewarded: gone is the excitement of the first year and the crowning achievement of the third year recital a distant promise. This award will fill that gap and give our second year singers that something extra to work towards.
The Kāpiti Chorale is celebrating its 25th year this year and while looking back over its long and illustrious history considered the celebration of young singers. "We have always encouraged young singers by having them accompany us as soloists, so it is fitting that we look to the future", says President Norma McCallum.
Amelia Berry started singing lessons when she was fourteen and became a member of the 2005-2006 Secondary Schools Students Choir. In 2008 she was placed first in the Lieder and 20th Century English Art Song Sections in the Wellington Performing Arts Competitions, and won the Otago Daily Times Aria Competition as the youngest competitor. Amelia said:
I will be entering competitions around New Zealand in 2009 to gain more experience. I want to take my Honours degree at the NZ School of Music before studying overseas and ultimately making singing my career. I am grateful to the Kāpiti Chorale for helping me to attain my ambition. I would like to let you know that I put your generous scholarship towards my fees for the 2009 National Singing School in Napier. I have just returned and it was such a valuable experience for me. I was given many opportunities at the school that I would not otherwise have had, including the chance to work with renowned vocal tutors, voice coaches, language coaches and accompanists from both New Zealand and overseas. I was chosen as a soloist for the oratorio service at the Napier Cathedral where I sang I know that my Redeemer liveth from Messiah. I also had the opportunity to sing another Handel piece, Piangero from the opera Guilio Cesare at the Cascade of Classics concert. The school was a fantastic experience for me and it has given me a real head start for the final year of my degree. I would like to extend my thanks to the choir for helping me to attend the school; your generosity is very much appreciated and I wish you all the best for 2009.