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The 2017 CMA Young Musician Competition took places over Thursday and Fridays 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th January 2017.


2017 winners

Level 1 Winner: Inaya Hasnain (voice)

Level 2 Winner: Vardsinh Turongpun (piano)

Level 3 Winner: Moses Kazanjian (trumpet)

Level 4 Winner: Adam Al Hashimi (alto saxophone)

With over 120 entrants, the compeition was tough, but the beautiful performances from these four winners stood out. We are so proud of all the competitors, the 2017 competition was full of great performances and highlighted the wonderful commitment and dedication of our students.


2017 adjudicators and judging panel

We were delighted to welcome 6 esteemed adjudicators to the Class Heats and a panel of 3 respected judges to oversee our Grand Final Showcase. 

Class Heat Adjudicators:

Kevin Bird, Brass

Kevin Bird (GCGI, LRSM, LTCL) has been a professional musician and tutor for 35 years, specialising in both brass and woodwind. Most of his career has been spent working in London as a military musician with the world famous Band of the Grenadier Guards. As well as performing for royalty at many State Ceremonial occasions, he has toured extensively in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Kevin moved to Dubai in 2011 and is currently teaching lower brass at the UAE Armed Forces School of Music, as well as holding the position of principal tuba for the NSO Symphony Orchestra in Abu Dhabi.  

Elaine Crook, Voice

Elaine is a graduate of Durham University, Warwick University and Royal College of Music, London. Professional engagements include a variety of solo roles in oratorio, opera and art song throughout the UK and Europe, including prestigious venues such as St. John Smith Square, London; Usher Hall, Edinburgh; and St George's Church, Venice. A former member of the Scottish Chamber Choir, Elaine has sung under the baton of composers such as Abaddo, Muti and Rattle. She is a keen amateur cellist and founder member of UK based Baroque chamber group La Follia. Elaine has over 30 years of teaching experience in UK schools, including Rugby School, Henrietta Barnett School and the music services of Warwickshire and Hertfordshire. She is currently teaching singing and helping train the choir at Dubai College. 

Anne Mouslmani, Strings

Anne is originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.A but has been living in Dubai for the past 16 years. She initially gained a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Boston University, before completing her Masters in Music at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Anne as perfomed with many different orchestras in the U.S, including the Boca Raton Symphonic Pops and the Miami City Ballet. Here in Dubai, she enjoys performing with the Dubai Chamber Orchestra and has taught violin in several schools including English College and Dubai College. She has also maintained a private violin teaching studio for the past 25 years. Anne enjoys working with young people and is pleased to be adjudicating the strings heats at the 2017 CMA Young Musician Competition. 

Christopher Spencer, Woodwind

Christopher Spencer (LRSM, MA) is a graduate of the University Salford and currently Professor of Clarinet at the UAE Armed Forces School of Music. He began his career with the British Armed Forces, assuming the position of Principal Clarinet with the Band of the Grenadier Guards in 2000. During his time with the band, he took part in all major State Ceremonial events; toured extensivley throughout Europe, North America and Australia; and featured regularly as a soloist. Recordings include the Philip Sparke Clarinet Concerto and Viktor's Tale by John Williams, from the film The Terminal, on the Grenadier Guards Band's 325th Anniversary recording. Christopher also enjoys a succesful career as a freelance clarinetist and saxophonist. Engagements in the U.A.E include BBC's Blue Planet Live, Disney's Frozen Live, Andrea Bocelli's Cinema Tour, Annie, and the Sound of Music. West End engagements include Billy Elliot and The Ripper.

Gordon Hardman, Piano

Gordon is originally from Manchester, UK. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where he won awards for both his piano playing and his compositional work. Upon graduation, he continued his studies in London with distinguished pianists Cyril Smith and John Barstow. Gordon has been in Dubai since 1976 and has built up a succesful teaching practice. He currently teaches at Dubai College. An experienced performer, Gordon has undertaken a number of engagements both as a soloist and accompanist. Publicappearances include performances of concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Schumann.

Kalana Desilva, Guitar

Kalana is from Sri Lanka and completed his Masters in Education at Liverpool Hope University, UK, specialising in the use of improvisation for classical music students. He has taught in Abu Dhabi for the past 15 years and has been with the British School of Al Khubairat since 2009. As the first ever guitar teacher employed by the school, he is responsible for the growth of the guitar programme there. His students range from beginner to diploma level and he enjoys teaching both individual and group lessons. Always keen to continue his professional development, Kalana has undertaken many courses over the years, most recently the ABRSM's "Being an Effective Teacher." He currently holds a Fellowship of Trinity College London (NQF Levek 7), and is the first Sri Lankan guitarist to achieve this qualification.

 Grand Final Showcase Judging Panel:

Carolyn Belsey Morton

Carolyn has had a long teaching career both in the UK and the UAE, where she established the music departments at JESS Jumeirah in 1979 and JPS in the mid 1990s. She was also Director of Music at a boy's prep school in Buckinghamshire for 10 years. A keen choral singer, Carolyn has sung with the London Philharmonic Choir. She has a long association with the Dubai Singers ansd was their Musical Director in the early 1980s, forming the first incarnation of the Dubai Chamber Orchestra to accompany them. On retiring from teaching in 2001, Carolyn saw the need for a professionally run music shop in Dubai, and opened The Music Room in the Beach Centre, which still thrives today, serving the needs of students and schools in the UAE.

Judith Hughes

Judith is a flautist and pianist and has been teaching in Dubai since 1994. Born in Scotland, she started performing at music festivals at an early age, before graduating with a Music Diploma from Napier Polytechnic. She then studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating with a BA in Music Performance and a Postgraduate Certificate in Music Performance. During her studies she won the coveted Mozart Prize and took part in many competitions and masterclasses with artists such as John Lill and James Galway. An experienced accompanist, Judith worked as a repetiteur with the Scottish Ballet, visiting underprivileged schools to introduce children to music and dance. She regularly accompanies for Trinity and ABRSM exams and for many choral groups and soloists in Dubai, most recently working alongside distinguished flautist Atarah Ben Tovim. She has taught in such schools as Hutcheson's Grammar School, Glasgow, Dubai College and JESS Arabian Ranches. Her students have had success in regional competitions and several have gone on to study music at leading institutions in the UK and USA.

Ed Keeley

Ed Keeley (ARCM, AMus, LCM, BBCM, PSM) is a respected conductor, musical director and publsihed composer/arranger. A former major in the British Army, he moved through the ranks to become Director of Music for miltary bands such as the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, the Royal Engineers and the Honourable Artillery Company Band. In this role, Ed was responsible for organising and administrating many musical tours around the world. Highlights of his time with the British Army include performing at Royal and State visits for Presidents Obama, Sarkozy and Putin; enjoying a private audience with H.M The Queen and H.R.H Prince Philip during a state visit to Brunei; and conducting at high profile sporting events, such as England International matches at Wembley and Twickenham stadiums and the Royal Polo, Windsor, UK. Ed is also an experienced brass band conductor, winning 1st prize at the West Midlands Entertainments Contest in 2011 and at the Southern Counties Area Brass Band Contest in 2012, where he also won Best Conductor. Since relocating to Dubai, Ed has conducted the NSO Symphony Orchestra and the Il Divo Orchestra, and has founded a new orchestra which performs appealing and accesible music - the Dubai Pops Orchestra.

No Lessons - Half Term

There will be no lessons during the half term break (9-16 Feb) We recommence lessons on 17 Feb. 

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