Student musicians win David Helfgott scholarship

BETH Condon and Luara Karlson-Carp are the winners of the two $3000 Helfgott Scholarships for 2008.

Viola player and Year 11 Bishop Druitt College student Beth Condon won the 2008 David Helfgott Scholarship for an instrumentalist under the age of 21.

Bellingen-based soprano and year 11 Coffs Harbour Senior College student Luara Karlson-Carp won the 2008 Gillian Helfgott Scholarship for a singer under the age of 25.

Beth Condon, who began playing the violin aged five but switched to the viola at 11, said there were not many viola teachers in the area and she hoped she would be able to use the scholarship to travel to Melbourne or Sydney for tuition as well as to upgrade her instrument .

“Regardless of whether or not I do it as a career, I definitely want to keep performing in an orchestra or chamber music group,” Beth said.

Beth, who has recently moved to the area from Melbourne, is a member of a musical family. Her father is the head of music at Bishop Druitt College and her mother teaches violin and viola at the school.

At the age of 12 she was an exchange student in France where she took the opportunity to study viola at the Gabriel Faure Conservatorium with teacher and performer violist Marie-Pierre Jacques.

More recently she has been studying with Christopher Marten in Melbourne and Brigid Crouch in Lismore.

The 2008 Helfgott Scholarship Finalists' Concert attracted a capacity audience to the Jetty Memorial Theatre on Saturday.

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