Hamilton Civic Choir‚Äôs 2015 Associate Artist Award competition has two winners
Two local music students have been announced joint winners of this year‚Äôs Hamilton Civic Choir Associate Artist Award.¬† They are Hamilton-born baritone Jonathan Eyers and flautist Lauren Grout, originally from Gisborne.¬† Since 2006 the Civic Choir has given this award every year to encourage and support the development of talented young musicians. Winners receive a financial scholarship and the opportunity to perform with the choir in at least two concerts.¬† This year there were 8 applicants, both singers and instrumentalists, who performed for the panel of adjudicators on Saturday May 9th.
Jonathan Eyers is a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar at The University of Waikato majoring in Performance Voice. In 2012 he placed first in the New Zealand Aria Competitions under-18 category and in 2013 won the UOW Aria Competition. ¬†As a member of several choirs he has had some interesting experiences including travelling to the USA and Canada with the New Zealand Youth Choir and being invited to sing with Voices New Zealand chamber choir and the internationally renowned Tallis ¬†Scholars. ¬†Jonathan also enjoys dramatic performance.¬† He had a lead role in the UOW production of David Griffith‚Äôs The White Lady and minor roles in the Hamilton Operatic Society‚Äôs production of The Phantom of the Opera in 2014 and attended the New Zealand Opera Summer School in 2015.¬†He is a member of the Freemasons NZ Opera Chorus this year and teaches singing at Southwell School, where he was once a pupil.
Flautist Lauren Grout was born and raised in Gisborne and has been playing the flute since she was nine years old. ¬†¬†She is also a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar at the University of Waikato, studying Performance Flute with Luca Manghi.¬†¬† Her impressive list of achievements includes winning the New Zealand Woodwind competition in 2012, being a finalist in the Waikato University Concerto Competition in 2011, ¬†2012 and 2014, filling the role of principal flute with Opus Chamber Orchestra, performing as soloist with Cantando Choir, and playing in well-regarded chamber music groups in 2013 and 2014, one of which was invited to compete in the Royal Overseas League chamber music competitions.¬†Some local young flute players know Lauren as their tutor at the Hamilton Community Music Centre on Saturday morning classes.¬† In the future, Lauren says, she would love to be performing in an orchestra as well as teaching at a high level.