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Musicians and actor win DMMF Wellington Arts Excellence Awards

From left Sarah Rathbun, Amy McLean and Bethany Angus
Bethany Angus photo - credit Latitude Creative

Trombonist Sarah Rathbun, actor Amy McLean, and cellist and keyboardist Bethany Angus are the latest recipients of Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for the Wellington region.

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Committee Chair Samuel Williamson says the committee once again received a very high calibre of applications. “Despite the impact of the COVID pandemic, our applicants have been accepted into both national and international courses for their future development.

“Sarah, Amy and Bethany have all shown a high degree of technical proficiency as well as the ambition, drive and interpersonal skills to succeed in their chosen fields. We’re excited to be able to contribute to their further development and success.”

A New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī graduate, Sarah Rathbun has been accepted into the highly prestigious Master’s programme at the Manhattan School of Music and has been granted $4,500 towards her studies. Assessors Diana Marsh and Joanna Heslop noted Sarah’s outstanding references from respected musicians and teachers, which supported an audition recording that demonstrated a high level of both technical expertise and musicianship.

Sarah says she feels extremely grateful and honoured to have been granted a DMMF Arts Excellence Award. “This award is helping me to achieve my dream of becoming an orchestral trombonist. I am excited to undertake this next chapter in my musical career which would not be possible without the support from the foundation.”

Amy McLean has been awarded $4,000 towards conservatory training at the Atlantic School of Acting in New York. According to the assessors, her application reflected personal qualities of commitment, resourcefulness, collegiality and resilience that would support her artistic endeavours.

A film and theatre graduate from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, Amy says she is grateful to the Dame Malvina Major Foundation for this award which will allow her to follow her passion for acting.

Bethany Angus, another New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī graduate, has been awarded $1,500 towards her Master’s studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Den Haag in historical performance music, cello and harpsichord. The assessors said her application reflected a collaborative mind-set and aspirations to support the artistic growth of others.

“Travelling overseas for study can come with a huge financial burden as well as the massive hurdle of farewelling friends, family and all that is familiar,” says Bethany. “Knowing that I have the support of organisations such as the Dame Malvina Major Foundation means the world to me and truly makes it all possible.”


DMMF Awards for Waikato singer and Auckland pianist


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