On Wednesday evening (April 24, 2023), Masahiro Takeda, a 15-year-old cellist from Cayman International School, was named the Butterfield Young Musician of the Year from among eight top instrumentalists in the 2023 National Children’s Festival of the Arts (NCFA) preliminary competition.
Pianist Johann Uy, from St. Ignatius Catholic School, was the runner-up. The competition was held at the George Town Historical Library and was adjudicated by esteemed music educators Ms. Stephanie Williams, Dr. Catherine Rand, and Ms. Janelle Tibbetts.
The competitors were evaluated based on maturity, confidence, storytelling, and performance skills. The other finalists were Garson Gardiner and Thian Bodden from John Gray High School and Daniel Vousden (Clifton Hunter High School), Charles Henderson (St. Ignatius Catholic School), Owen Bard (Williamsburg Academy Private Online School), and Lorena Peterson (Triple C School).
Department of Education Services (DES) Director Mr. Mark Ray remarked, “Congratulations, to Masahiro Takeda, on being named the 2023 Young Musician of the Year—special commendations to our other seven finalists on your outstanding performance. Your level of musical expertise, competence, and dedication is truly inspiring. We are excited to see all the fantastic things you will achieve in your future endeavours.”
In his message, Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited’s Managing Director, Mr. Michael McWatt thanked the Department of Education Services (DES), the Cayman Arts Festival, the adjudicators and parents, teachers and guardians for their support. He continued, “Without their dedication to promoting the arts and encouraging the growth of our youth, we would not be here tonight to witness such exceptional talent.”
For more details about the Young Musician of the Year Competition and other DES programmes, contact DES Senior Customer Service Manager Kimberly Kirkconnell by telephone at 945-1199 or by email at Kimberly.Kirkconnell@gov.ky .