The final of the first Courtney Kenny Award for singers aged 18-23 was held at Whitgift School. The seven finalists in this year’s final achieved a high standard of performance with some innovative programmes and it was especially pleasing to hear some fine verse speaking as well as some very polished vocal work. Thanks are due to Paul Wilson who made the school available to the AESS for the preliminary round and the final and was on hand to help in any way that he could. He joined Ameral Gunson and Graham Trew on the panel for the final. Stephen Miles co-ordinated wonderfully as always and also judged the preliminary round with Rodney Gibson.
The Winners of the 2011 Courtney Kenny Award – Raphaela Papadakis (1st), Gordon Waterson (2nd), Melis Omeroglu (accompanist winner) and Joanna Marie Skillett (3rd)
The winner of the £1000 first prize was soprano, Raphaela Papadakis, a student of John Evans (himself an AESS Senior Competition prizewinner in 2005). Second was counter-tenor Gordon Waterson, a student of Linda Hirst at Trinity Laban. Gordon won £500 as did his accompanist Melis Omeroglu. Also winning £500 was third placed soprano, Joanna Marie Skillett, a student of Elizabeth Ritchie.