Waikato ensemble wins music scholarship contest

Press Release – University of Waikato

Waikato University’s chamber ensemble Leonari Trio won the prestigious Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Music Scholarship contest held recently. (SUBS NOV 21-23) Media Release
November 27, 2009
Waikato ensemble wins music scholarship contest
Waikato University’s chamber ensemble Leonari Trio won the prestigious Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Music Scholarship contest held recently. (SUBS NOV 21-23)

The Waikato trio, comprising Edward King on cello, Maria Mo on piano and Hilary Hayes on violin, took out the Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Music Scholarship contest, held at the University’s Wel Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts November 21-23.

“We were pretty elated when we won,” says Edward. “Maria and I had been finalists twice before, so it was a case of persistence paying off.”

Edward and Maria, who are Sir Edmund Hilary Scholars at Waikato University, have been playing music together for three years. They were recently joined by Hilary Hayes, a Hillcrest High School student, as part of the University’s chamber music group programme, which had four ensembles take part in this year’s contest.

The annual ROSL scholarship contest sees top tertiary chamber groups (duos, trios, and quartets) from universities all over New Zealand compete for a UK musical experience worth $50,000.

“There’s a lot of rehearsing that goes into preparing chamber music to this level,” says Edward. “There’s individual practice, but mostly group rehearsals, often three or four hours a day leading up to the competition.”

Edward says groups are very competitive because the prize is so appealing, but maintains there is still a friendly atmosphere as most of the competitors are good friends.

Edward, Maria and Hilary will leave for their UK musical experience in mid-August, 2010. The ROSL scholarship prize includes return flights to the UK; four weeks’ hospitality and accommodation; spending money; coaching and master-classes with prominent teachers in the UK; recitals and concert appearances; visits to major UK conservatoires; and, tickets to cultural events including the BBC Promenade and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The ROSL aims to help develop the careers of talented young professional artists and musicians in the UK and the Commonwealth. The other contest finalists were Clavino Trio from Auckland University and the Matariki String Quartet from the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University.

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