Arts awards presented at Taree Winter Festival opening

THE Manning Winter Festival held its official opening night gala on Friday, in conjunction with the announcement of the Visual and Performing Arts Awards for 2012.

The major award winners on the night were: special arts award, Barry Schlenker; visual arts award, John Holme; and performing arts award, Lyn Moore.

All expressed their honour and surprise at being singled out from an outstanding list of nominees, who included Bruce Wiseman, Paul Eade, Cate Jeffree, Geraldine Mullin, Sinfonia Mid North Coast, Kantabile Chamber Choir, Ruth Rankin and Katie Hardyman.

Returning to his home in Taree to accept his accolade as young ambassador for the Manning Winter Festival was Michael Bardon who has already had an exciting musical career. He was this year’s winner of the William Bowmore Prize for postgraduate studies in cello and with colleagues in Newcastle, has received a booking from the ABC for a live national broadcast as part of the Sunday Live series in September. With a new concept in performing, “Breathing Space”, Michael has been accepted into the international synopsium at the Young Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore called “The Performers” voice.

He is currently is working for the NSW Department of Education and Training as an orchestral mentor for the 2012 production of Starstruck and as a cello lecturer, has joined the staff of the Newington College in Sydney and the University of Newcastle Conservatorium where he is also a candidate for Masters of Philosophy (Music).

More than120 people enjoyed performances by Michael Bardon, accompanied by Don Secomb on piano; and singers Dan Markovina and Sharen Stevenson who performed some songs written by Katie Hardyman.

They were accompanied by Ben Opie on oboe and Michael Bardon on cello.

Katie Hardyman also performed her compositions.

The appreciative audience was also treated to the viewing of works in the Manning Winter Festival Wildcard Exhibition, which was opened by gallery director, Sue Mitchell.