2015 saw a number of changes to the Award, all of which will enable us to improve our support for our young Cumbrian musicians. You will have noticed that our name has changed to Keldwyth Cumbrian Young Musicians Award, which we feel better reflects the purpose of the Award. And we are delighted that the renowned pianist, Anthony Hewitt, the artistic director of the Ulverston Music Festival, has become our new President. We are looking forward to working with him to develop the Award over the years to come.
The Award’s finances have been strengthened during the year. We are very grateful not only to our subscribers who gave more, but also to Cumbria Community Foundation for a grant of £1000. In addition, we are pleased to announce a new runners-up prize of £500 and the Geoffrey Blake Trophy, given in memory of one of the long-time supporters of the Keldwyth Award, who died last year. You can hear one of his recordings of the Keldwyth Singers on our History Page. Sadly, we also lost another staunch supporter during the year, Reg Griffith’s widow Anne, who had been President of the Award for many years.
Finally, I hope you will find our new website more informative, whether you are a prospective/past competitor, a concert-goer or a subscriber. This is largely the work of Suzanne de Lozey who, along with Judith Egan, Geoffrey Blake’s daughter, brings new experience and energy to the committee.