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The 2018 CMA Young Musician Competition took place at JESS Jumeirah over Thursday and Fridays 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th January 2018.


2018 winners

Level 1 Winner: Maya Baroom (piano)

Level 2 Winner: Inaya Hasnain (guitar)

Level 3 Winner: Imogen O'Connor (oboe)

Level 4 Winner: Samar Nanda (voice)

Advanced Level Winner: Taejas Venkataraman (violin)

With over 100 entrants, the compeition was tough, but the beautiful performances from these four winners stood out. We are so proud of all the competitors, the 2018 competition was full of great performances and highlights the wonderful commitment and dedication of our students.


2018 adjudicators and judging panel

Class Heat Adjudicators

Brass: Mark Glover

Mark is a euphonium performing artist for the British instrument manufacturer Sterling. He is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, and completed his PGCE in Secondary Music Education at the University of Central England. Currently Head of Music at an international school in Dubai, Mark lived previously in Singapore, where he was Principal Study Lecturer of Euphonium at the Nyang Academy of Fine Arts and taught at the Singapore Armed Forces Band. As a soloist and educator he has worked all aroud the world, teaching both classroom and instrumental music, giving masterclasses and world premiere performances across much of Asia, Europe, Australia and the USA. His debut solo euphonium CD is currently being recorded here in Dubai and he is always passionate about youth music. To find out more about mark, visit www.markglovermusic.co.uk

Woodwind: Jo Brown

Jo studied flute and vocal performance at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was a member of the University of London Orchestra and an active recitalist. Upon graduating, she continued her flute studies with Katy Gainham, Professor of Flute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and continued to perform in and around London as an orchestral player, chamber musician, chorister and soloist (flute and vocal), alongside a career in publishing. Since training as a music teacher in 2002, Jo has worked variously as a peripatetic teacher of flute, voice and piano and has taught at schools on three continents. She has been based in Duabi since 2013, working as an academic music teacher and continuing to play the flute and sing wherever possible. 

Strings: Eva Gräsbek

Finnish violinist Eva gained her Masters degree from the Sibelius Academy in 1994, graduating with the highest honours. She sudied previously at the Belarus State Academy of Music, the Helsinki Conservatory and the Turku Conservatory.  Eva has performed as both a soloist and chamber musician in various ensembles across most of Europe and has been a member of the orchestra of the Finnish National Opera since 1994. Here in Dubai, she teaches violin and continues a diverse performing career all across the region.

Voice: Caroline Qayyum

Caroline is a graduate of Trinity College, London, Cambridge University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Professional engagements include a varety of solo roles in musical theatre, oratoria and opera throughout the UK and Europe, most notably originating the role of "Phyrne" in the world premiere of the one act opera of the same name, touring with Fame! the Musical, and producing and performing "Best of the West End" for HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex during his recent visit to Qatar. She is also a regular guest contralto soloist with the Dubai Singers and the Emirates Opera Project. An accomplished conductor and composer of music for children, Caroline recently partnered with UAE based children's author Julia Johnson to create the musical "The Pearl Diver." She is a highly experienced teacher and is currently Head of Music at an international school in Dubai. 

Guitar: Kalana De Silva

Kalana is from Sri Lanka and completed his Masters in Education at the Liverpool Hope University, UK, specialising in the use of improvisation for classical musicians. He has taught in Abu Dhabi for the past 15 years and has been with the British School Al Khubairat since 2009. As the first ever guitar teacher employed by the school, he has been responsible for the growth and success of the guitar programme there. He is a passionate educator of all ages and abilities; his students range from beginner to diploma level and he enjoys teaching both group and individual lessons. An advocate of life long learning and 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 and is the first ever Sri Lankan guitarist to hold this qualification. An active performer, Kalana has been a member of the Abu Dhabi Big and Little Bands since 2009.

Piano: Judith Hughes

Pianist and flautist Judith has been teaching in Dubai since 1994 and is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. During her studies she was awarded the coveted Mozart Prize and took part in many competitions and masterclasses with artists such as John Lil and James Galway. An experienced accompanist, Judith worked as a repetiteur with the Scottish Ballet and regularly accompanies for Trinity and ABRSM exams as well as for many choral groups and soloists here in Dubai, most recently working alongside distinguished flautist Atarah Ben Tovim. She has taught at such schools as Hutcheson's Grammar, Glasgow, Dubai College and JESS Arabian Ranches. Her students have had success regional competitions and several have gone on to study music at leading institutions in the UK and USA. 


Grand Final Showcase Judging Panel:

Amira Fouad

Amira's career as a concert pianist has taken her to distinguished concert halls all across the globe and she has worked with several of the world's leading orchestras. Recordings include "Portraits: A Pianist's Journey" and a live recording of the piano concerto "El Hedeiya," written especially for her by acclaimed composer David Heath, with the English Chamber Orchestra. Amira is the Founder and Artistic Director of several educational initiatives including Dubai Opera's Music in the Studio, the Musique en Armagnac piano masterclass series in France, ENCORE! and The Festival of the Nile in Egypt. She also produced the DVD "Amira's Concerts" with Echo Documentary Films. A graduate of Queen's University and Windsor University, Canada, Amira completed her Masters at the Royal College of Music, London, studying under the eminent pedagogue and pianist Kendall Taylor. She also studied with the internationally reknowned Cécile Ousset in Paris. 

Ros Marshall

Ros is CEO of Taaleem, one of the largest education providers in the UAE, with 10 international schools. Taleem, which means 'education' in Arabic, is committed to inspiring students and helping them to identify and develop their passions and talents. Ros started learning the piano at the age of three and aged 14 received the ABRSM's Sheila Mossman Prize for the highest marks in the UK for Grade VIII. She intended to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, but took a different path and now enjoys an illustrious career in business management. As her original vocation, music remains a major part of her life and she is a fervent advocate of youth music - serving on the board of the National Children's Orchestra, UK, from 2009 until her move to Dubai in 2013, where she continues to support and encourage young musicians.

Lisa Wilson

Lisa was born in New Zealand and started her musical studies during childhood, learning piano, guitar and saxophone. Upon graduation from high school, Lisa was awarded a music scholarship to Denmark and spent a year in Copenhagen furthering her knowledge. On returning to New Zealand, she studied for a Bachelor of Education with a Major in Music at the University of Waikato, Hamilton. Lisa is a highly experienced educator and has enjoyed a diverse teaching career at home in New Zealand as a specialist music teacher, a senior teacher, and a classroom teacher for Years 3 to 6. She spent four years in London as part of a busy music department, teaching classroom music, guitar and leading the school choirs. She has been in Dubai since 2010 and is currently Head of Music at JESS Jumeirah. Lisa is passionate about instilling her love of music into the young people she works with and takes inspiration from them every day. indeed, the school learning environment encourages her to continue widening her own skillset and she has recently started taking trumpet lessons.   


Click on the link below to download the souvenir programme. 

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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