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Top Musician Chosen

L-r: Sponsor Butterfield Bank's Mr. Michael McWatt, second place winner Chaquira Hodgson, top winner Ethan Whittaker and Elena Tacchetto, who placed third, Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Shirley Wahler

Budding steel pan virtuoso Ethan Whittaker waltzed away with first place in the seventh annual Butterfield Young Musician of the Year competition, held at Harquail Theatre Thursday, 5 June 2014. Ethan represented Cayman School for Pan and Cayman Prep and High School.

Taking second and third places were Chaquira Hodgson, also from the Cayman School for Pan and also playing the steel pan, and Elena Tacchetto from St. Ignatius Catholic School who played the piano.

They each received their trophies from Mr. Michael McWatt of Butterfield Bank, the sponsor since inception.

Red Bay Primary's sparkling drum duo Joel Taylor and Nathaniel Williams perform.

Additionally, they received participant trophies. So did Aisha Stanuel-Taitte of St. Ignatius Catholic School, playing the euphonium, a brass instrument; David Brown, Triple C School, voice; Keeley-Shaye Ebanks, St. Ignatius Catholic School/Cayman Music School, piano; Tsin Zan Graham of Cayman International School, violin; Conor O'Dea, St. Ignatius Catholic School, saxophone; Chamelle Williams, Cayman Academy, voice; Deidra Campbell, St. Ignatius Catholic School, clarinet; Nayil Arana, Cayman Music School, violin; Ericka Rockett-McBean, Clifton Hunter High School, voice, and Ryan Kyberd, St. Ignatius Catholic School, saxophone.

Judges, Mr. Glen Inanga and Mr. John McLaughlin Williams, both players of international repute, set the tone for the evening's musical fare with short but very sweet and stirring performances on the piano and violin respectively. They applauded the international level of music produced by all the finalists.

The audience was also regaled to a vivacious vocal performance by Young Musician of the Year 2013 Hannah Fowler; a rambunctious drum duo by Red Bay Primary School students Joel Taylor and Nathaniel Williams and an exciting vocal performance by the Melodicx, a sprightly group from Cayman Academy.

Judges Glen Inanga on the piano and John McLaughlin Williams set the tone for the evening's performances.

Emcee and music teacher Mr. Arek Nicholson welcomed the gathering and kept the proceedings lively with his introductions of the performers.

Finally, Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler, in her vote of thanks, underscored the value of the arts as an essential element of every child's life.

Each year, the competition is held jointly by the Department of Education Services, the Ministry of Education and the bank as part of the National Children's Festival of the Arts.


For further information contact: Bina Mani