The An­to­nia and Amy show

Tal­ented pi­anist, vo­cal­ist win rose bowls at Car­bon­ear mu­sic fes­ti­val


Two soft-spo­ken and gifted fe­male mu­si­cians who as­tounded au­di­ences and ad­ju­di­ca­tors with their tal­ent at the 43rd Ki­wa­nis Club of Car­bon­ear re­gional mu­sic fes­ti­val each came away with cov­eted rose bowls last week.

Pi­anist An­to­nia Whe­lan of Har­bour Grace was awarded the se­nior rose bowl dur­ing the third and fi­nal grand con­cert on Thurs­day night at the Con­cep­tion Bay North Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Two nights ear­lier, on March 19, vo­cal­ist Amy Gilling­ham of Car­bon­ear was pre­sented with the ju­nior rose bowl, edg­ing pi­anist Danielle Tay­lor of Vic­to­ria.

The pre­sen­ta­tions were two of the many high­lights from an im­pres­sive and highly suc­cess­ful mu­sic ex­trav­a­ganza, which at­tracted some 2,200 par­tic­i­pants from through­out the re­gion, be­gin­ning March 9.

In all, some $8,500 in prize money was handed out to dozens of award win­ners (see Page B1 for com­plete list), demon­strat­ing the solid fi­nan­cial back­ing of the area’s busi­ness com­mu­nity.

Mean­while, two other rose bowls were awarded dur­ing the sec­ond grand con­cert on Wed­nes­day, March 20.

In the choral cat­e­gory, the rose bowl went to the 100mem­ber Cres­cent Col­le­giate Con­cert Choir, while Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate was run­ner-up.

The in­stru­men­tal rose bowl was awarded to the Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate Jazz Band, while the run­ner-up was the As­cen­sion Col­le­giate Con­cert Band.

Third rose bowl

The win by An­to­nia is the lat­est in an im­pres­sive list of ac­com­plish­ments for the 16-year-old Level II stu­dent at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate.

She also claimed ju­nior rose bowls in 2010 and 2012.

But the pi­ano vir­tu­oso said this lat­est one — the se­nior rose bowl, the most cov­eted prize avail­able at the fes­ti­val — is the most spe­cial.

“It feels really good,” An­to­nia, the daugh­ter of Ed­die Whe­lan and Mar­liese Whe­lan, stated fol­low­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion.

An­to­nia turns 17 on March 28, and hap­pily ac­cepted what could be con­sid­ered an early birth­day present.

Kris­tian Butt, 18, of Car­bon­ear, who per­formed in the vo­cal cat­e­gory, was run­ner-up for the se­nior bowl. She is the daugh­ter of Frank and Karen Butt.

Ed­die Whe­lan said his daugh­ter has come a long way from the time when she cried on stage as a shy seven-year-old.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and ef­fort. She’s been play­ing since she was three,” Ed­die said.

Once painfully shy, An­to­nia now has the abil­ity to wow an au­di­ence when she comes alive at the pi­ano.

She trav­els to St. John’s ev­ery Sun­day for lessons with her teacher, Tim Steeves, and prac­tices at least one hour daily.

She per­formed an opus by Sergei Rach­mani­noff, a roughly four­minute piece she had been pre­par­ing since Oc­to­ber, and played from me­mory. “I really like his style,” she said. An­to­nia’s mother de­scribed her daugh­ter as a “su­per-tal­ented mu­si­cian,” who is also ac­tively in­volved in the school band, school choirs and the school drama club. She has also played other in­stru­ments over the years, in­clud­ing sax­o­phone, trom­bone, gui­tar and vi­o­lin.

She’s also in­volved in the Me­mo­rial Univer­sity youth cham­ber mu­sic pro­gram, and plans to pur­sue a mu­sic de­gree af­ter high school.

Amy Gilling­ham, mean­while, is the 15-year-old daugh­ter of Irene and Robert Gilling­ham, and is a Level I stu­dent at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate.

Hav­ing a cov­eted rose bowl in the Gilling­ham house­hold is not unique. Amy’s older sis­ter, Ali­cia, won a ju­nior rose bowl in 2008, and a se­nior rose bowl in 2010. Ali­cia is now study­ing mu­sic at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity.

Amy has been singing for seven years, and is men­tored by Calvin Pow­ell. She was run­ner-up for the ju­nior rose bowl in 2012.

This year’s ju­nior rose bowl run­ner-up was Danielle Tay­lor (pi­ano) of Vic­to­ria, a 13-year-old Grade 8 stu­dent at Per­salvic Ele­men­tary. Danielle is the daugh­ter of Bill and Elizabeth Tay­lor.


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