A dream come true

Car­bon­ear so­prano earns Car­bon­ear Ki­wa­nis se­nior Rose Bowl


I couldn’t even tell you what I thought was go­ing to hap­pen. Amy Gilling­ham

Thurs­day, March 26 is a day Amy Gilling­ham won’t soon for­get.

The level III stu­dent at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate saw her dreams come true when she not only re­ceived her ac­cep­tance let­ter to Me­mo­rial Uni­ver­sity of New­found­land’s mu­sic school, but she earned the cov­eted Se­nior Rose Bowl at the Car­bon­ear Ki­wa­nis mu­sic fes­ti­val.

“I’m ec­static,” she said af­ter the third and fi­nal grand con­cert at the Sheila NaGeira Theatre, where she re­ceived the award.

Amy has par­tic­i­pated for many years in the fes­ti­val, but this year she grabbed the at­ten­tion of ad­ju­di­ca­tors with her opera-trained voice.

She also ap­peared to be the crowd favourite, af­ter closing last Thurs­day’s Grand Con­cert with an an­i­mated and dra­matic ver­sion of “Verge­bliches Stand­chen” by Brahms, a Ger­man bal­lad. Although it wasn’t in English, Amy was able to tell the story, mak­ing the au­di­ence laugh through her act­ing skills.

In the Ju­nior Rose Bowl com­pe­ti­tion, Co­ley’s Point na­tive Anna Mercer was de­clared the win­ner.

“Words can’t de­scribe it,” she told The Compass shortly af­ter she re­ceived her award, which also came with $300. “I’m so pleased.”

Cres­cent Col­le­giate from Blake­town was awarded the choral Rose Bowl, along with $300 for its choir’s haunt­ing ren­di­tions of “The Green Shores of Fogo” and “Di­nasi Ponono,” which in­cluded some tra­di­tional South African dance.

SeeIn the Rose Bowl In­stru- men­tal cat­e­gory, the Amal­ga­mated Academy Tra­di­tional En­sem­ble from Bay Roberts took home the tro­phy. It fea­tured a host of tra­di­tional New­found­land in­stru­ments. Teh group mas­ter­fully per­formed the “West­phalia Waltz” and a tra­di­tional New­found­land num­ber, earn­ing a tidy $300 with the win.

When Gilling­ham was asked whether she ex­pected to win, the mod­est so­prano said she was caught off-guard.

“I re­ally had no clue,” she said. “I couldn’t even tell you what I thought was go­ing to hap­pen.”

Anna’s prepa­ra­tion for the fes­ti­val be­gan last fall with her voice teacher Sonya Gosse. They started choos­ing songs that would best suit her voice and also took into con­sid­er­a­tion try­ing dif­fer­ent lan­guages. The Amal­ga­mated Academy Grade 8 stu­dent par­tic­u­larly en­joys singing clas­si­cal pieces and can also play pi­ano and vi­o­lin.

Gilling­ham knows a thing or two about the sort of emo­tions Anna was grap­pling with fol­low­ing her win. She took home the Ju­nior Rose Bowl award in 2013.

In fact, she is the sec­ond girl in her im­me­di­ate fam­ily to win two Rose Bowls. Amy’s sis­ter, Ali­cia Gilling­ham, will grad­u­ate MUN mu­sic school this spring.

The four Rose Bowl tro­phies will sit on a shelf at the fam­ily’s home this spring. Their par­ents, Bob and Irene Gilling­ham, had a space made just for the new award. They had con­fi­dence this year the col­lec­tion of Rose Bowls would be com­plete.

“It’s a lot to take in,” Amy Gilling­ham said. “But I’m so happy.”

The run­ners-up for the Se­nior Rose Bowl were Xan­the Wilkins of Clarke’s Beach (pi­ano) and Christo­pher Qiu (vi­o­lin). Run­ners-up for the Ju­nior Rose Bowl were Megan Ge­orge (pi­ano) and Jen­nifer Mong (in­stru­men­tal).


Anna Mercer, left, won the Ju­nior Rose Bowl last week in Car­bon­ear, and for­mer Ju­nior Rose Bowl win­ner Amy Gilling­ham earned the Se­nior Rose Bowl this year.

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