Rose Bowl winners cap off Kiwanis festival
Coley’s Point singer Anna Mercer earns third trophy in four years
Anna Mercer was beaming with pride after being named the 2018 Senior Rose Bowl winner at the Kiwanis Club of Carbonear’s Regional Music Festival.
That said, the Coley’s Point singer is ready to relax for a bit after months of preparation for the annual festival, now capping off its 48th run.
“Heading to Florida,” she said with a laugh Thursday night, moments after receiving the trophy. “Real excited for the break.”
The festival included nearly two weeks of magical performance with three nights of grand concerts. Awards were also presented each night, including all four Rose Bowls.
Erin O’Brien-Rogers, a 13-yearold student at Amalgamated Academy hailing from North River, took home the Junior Rose Bowl.
“It’s so amazing to hear your name called after all the hard work you put into it,” O’Brien-Rogers told the Compass after Tuesday night’s concert. “It doesn’t feel real, almost surreal in a way.”
Her school’s traditional ensemble won the Instrumental Rose Bowl, and Sonya Gosse’s Sona-teens choir collected the trophy for the Choral Rose Bowl.
Conducted by music teacher Deanne Delahunty, the traditional group representing the Bay Roberts school claimed a $300-prize along with the trophy. Competing in the mixed instrumental ensembles category for schools, Amalgamated earned a mark of 89. The Crescent Collegiate Jazz Band was named the runner up for the trophy and received a $150-prize.
The Sona-teens received one of the highest scores all week (94) from the choral adjudicator while competing in the 19-year-andunder senior group. The Crescent Collegiate Vocal Ensemble received $150 as the runner up.
For Mercer, it was her third Rose Bowl win after claiming the junior trophy in 2015 and 2017. The other finalists for the award this year were pianist Megan George (the 2016 Junior Rose Bowl winner) and violinist Madison Hurley.
“The work certainly paid off,” said Mercer, who was also recommended to compete at the provincial Kiwanis music festival, taking place in Corner Brook later this spring.
Music has an important place in Mercer’s life. The 17-year-old also plays the violin and piano, and she’s heavily involved in the music program at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts.
“It’s totally my life, absolutely,” she said. “Not a question about it. And I think what keeps me going is there’s always a mystery. You can never stop learning.”
O’Brien-Rogers was up against violinist Riley Barteau and pianist Cassondra Mayne for this year’s Junior Rose Bowl. All three talented young musicians performed at last Tuesday’s Grand Concert.
“Everybody did amazing here tonight, and I know all the performances had so much hard work and amazing teachers behind them,” she said.
Mercer was not the lone performer to receive a recommendation to attend the provincial Kiwanis competition. Liam Dawson and Gosse’s Celeste community choir were also recommended for the event.
To start off Thursday night’s Grand Concert at the Sheila NaGeira Theatre, Senior Rose Bowl finalists Megan George (piano), Anna Mercer (voice) and Madison Hurley (violin) performed a rendition of “O Canada.”
Erin O’Brien-Rogers receiving the 2018 Junior Rose Bowl award