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Allen Family Finals 2022: (l-r) Central Coast Conservatorium Artistic Director Patrick Brennan, Kaito Deed, Elana Sydenham, Emma Deed, Minjy Lee, Ray Allen and Dr Ian Cook.

Allen Family Scholarship Finals prizes announced

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Congratulations to Year 10 Gosford High School student Kaito Deed who has won first place in the the Central Coast Conservatorium Allen Family Scholarship Finals.

Fifteen-year-old violinist Kaito won the first prize of $2000 in the Allen Family Scholarship Finals which were held at Greenway Chapel on Sunday, 27 November. Flautist, Central Coast Grammar School Year 9 student Elana Sydenham was awarded 2nd place, with $1000 and Year 9 Narara Valley High School Minjy Lee (violin) and Gosford High School Year 9 student Emma Deed (flute) were awarded joint 3rd place.

Kaito has been playing violin for 12 years. Kaito impressed adjudicator Dr Ian Cook with his performance of Sonato No.4  by  Beethoven and Rachmaninoff’s Hungarian Dance.

Kaito has recently achieved his AMusA diploma and is the 2023 Central Coast Conservatorium Senior Instrumental Scholarship winner and was a 2022 Allen Family Finalist (2nd place). Kaito also won the 2022 Pearl Beach People’s Choice Award, and in 2020 was awarded a 2021 CCCM Instrumental Scholarship and 3rd place in the Allen Family Senior Scholarship Finals. Katio is currently the concert master with Central Coast Youth Orchestra and NSW Regional Youth Orchestra and was a soloist at Opera in the Arboretum with the Central Coast Chamber Orchestra.

Elana Sydenham, a student in Year 9 at Central Coast Grammar School, impressed the judge with her performance of Bach’s Sonata in C Major BWV 1033 and Concerto Op.8 by Otar Gordeli. 

Elana has been playing flute for 7 years and her tutor is Rosalie Bourne and is currently working toward her AMEB grade 8 exam. She is a member of the Central Coast Conservatorium Youth Orchestra and she also plays in her School Symphony Orchestra and Senior Concert Band. Elana was awarded highly commended in her age group in the international competition Lyrical Flute Legends. She also received a highly commended in the Flute Society of NSW Eisteddfod and Sydney Eisteddfod in 2021.

Adjudicator Dr Ian Cook praised all four finalists for their “exceptional” recitals , thanking Kaito for his “engaging performance” and praising Elana’s rendition of Bach’s Sonata in C Major for its “excellent shading”.

“In the end the competition was very tight, with the two top students only one point apart,” said Dr Cook. “Both performances really had a technique that supported the repertoire they performed and I think that is so important. They excelled in that and were able to get on top of their performances and take command and they didn’t really have to worry about it. They could take time for themselves.”

Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Artistic Director, Patrick Brennan, congratulated all four young finalists. “Congratulations to all our four finalists, who all performed at such a high level – which is testament to all the practice they have been doing. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved. The concert was  a great exhibition of the level of talent coming through the Conservatorium.”

He also extended his thanks to Ray and Helen Allen and all Conservatorium donors and supporters.

Now in its 9th year the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music’s Supporters’ Concert is an important recognition of student’s hard work and dedication.

The Allen Family Scholarship Finals were held as part of the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music annual Supporters’ Concert and featured performances from previous scholarship recipients including 2023 CCCM Junior Instrumental Scholarship 1st Place Kris Cox (cello), 2022 CCCM Junior Instrumental Finalist Kairavan Selvarajan (guitar),2022 Irvine Family Piano Scholarship recipient Chris Chen (piano), 2022 CCCM Senior Instrumental Finalist Bayden Tham (cello), and 2022 CCCM Senior Scholarship and Allen Family Scholarship 1st place Jack Li (Marimba).

2023 Allen Family Junior Encouragement Award recipient Ehryn Bala (voice) also performed two of her own songs and the Central Coast Conservatorium Children’s and Youth Choir performed Karl Jenkin’s Adiemus.