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Boost for students’ artistic ambitions

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Arts programmes are often the hardest hit when finances are tight that’s why five young performing artists are thanking their lucky stars after being awarded a bank scholarship.

Talented teenagers Kioshi Burgess, Noah Furbert, Adrien Lewis, Amani Walker and Aalai Wolffe are the first recipients of Capital G Bank’s ‘Inspiration Scholarship’.

The youngsters say the award money will get them one step closer to their dream careers in realms like music, acting, singing and dance.

Sixteen-year-old Noah, who is described as ‘musically gifted’, said the scholarship may have been his only chance to continue cello lessons at the Bermuda School of Music.

“I was taking private lessons and had to stop because of finances a year ago. I was pretty excited [about the scholarship]. I was relieved to be starting my lessons.”

Starting this year Capital G plans to allocate up to $25,000 annually to help young people age 13 to 18 develop their visual and performing arts skills.

This year all five young people have been awarded money to help pay for classes on the Island, but the scholarship could also be awarded to a Bermudian pursuing an overseas art programme in the future.

Bank president Ian Truran said they were “looking for students with very special qualities” to benefit from this award.

“Specifically, students who were beginning to realise their talent in a visual arts field, in areas of drawing, architecture, photography, film, sculpture and printmaking.

“Students who were passionate about developing their talent in the performing arts field, in theatre, dance, musical performance and mime; students who were highly passionate about achieving their full potential.”

Students like Kioshi, 17, who has a passion for acting, dancing and singing and will be using his award money to take voice lessons at the Bermuda School of Music.

The Berkeley Institute student said the arts were very important to him and served as “an outlet for young people to express how they feel”.

He admitted he was thankful for the award and said it has “given [me] the opportunity to finally speak up and do what [I] love to do”.

Aspiring musician Adrien, a prefect at CedarBridge Academy, was selected for the award after mastering her performance in flute.

The 17-year-old plans to become a professional orchestra musician and will use the scholarship money to further her training under well-known musician Wendell ‘Shine’ Hayward.

She said she first fell in love with music when she was seven or eight-years-old after being given a CD of the New York Philharmonic from her mom.

Adrien said: “Even if you don’t pursue the arts professionally it helps you personally to stay balanced. Music helps me keep a clear head so I don’t get overstressed about little, unimportant details, so it helps me to stay calm.”

The award was also presented to promising young dancer Amani, 16.

She will now be able to take part in a range of dance classes at Somerset School of Dance including ballet and jazz, which she has been taking since the age of three.

Multi-talented youngster Aalai has been dancing since she was five years old; and in the past two years has expanded her skills to include singing, songwriting and acting.

She was ecstatic to learn she had been selected for the award and said: “I was screaming first and then I was crying and then I realised it was true.”

The scholarship will allow the 14-year-old to take part in voice development training under teacher Daniel Hill.

Artistic aspirations: Five young students have been given a helping hand from Capital G to assist them pursue their ambitions in music, acting, singing and dancing. Pictured from the left, front row, are: Capital G president and CEO Ian Truran, Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith, Adrien Lewis, Noah Furbert. Standing behind, from the left, are: Kioshi Burgess, Amani Walker and Aalai Wolffe.
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Published November 19, 2011 at 7:53 am (Updated November 19, 2011 at 7:52 am)

Boost for students’ artistic ambitions

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