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Latest Dame Malvina Major Foundation awards

Three young performing artists given career boost in latest Dame Malvina Major Foundation awards

A conductor, a singer and a dancer are the latest recipients of Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for the Wellington region.

Adjudicators Clarissa Dunn and Professor Peter Walls decided to split the $10,000 equally among three exceptional applicants – conductor Vincent Hardaker, soprano Pasquale Orchard and ballet dancer Macy Cook.

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Committee Chair George Troup says the committee continues to be impressed by the talent and dedication of the young artists who apply for this award.

“We were pleased to be able to make more money available this year than in the past, but there were still deserving candidates who missed out.”

Vincent Hardaker, a graduate from the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), who is currently studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, says the award means the freedom to commit wholeheartedly to what he believes in, and to bring some of what he learns back to New Zealand.

A two-time recipient of a Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Award in Christchurch, where he grew up, Vincent says the support from a respected institution like the Foundation and from a top class jury gives him confidence in his progress as a conductor.

“It is so nice to have people from your home believe in you.”

Soprano Pasquale Orchard, also an NZSM graduate and a current Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, will use the funds towards her Master’s studies at the Royal Northern College of Music which get underway in September.

She says she is incredibly grateful for the continued financial support of the Foundation without whose backing her dreams would not be realised.

“I cannot wait to continue my operatic journey abroad. I look forward to hopefully representing New Zealand and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation on the world stage.”

Fifteen-year-old Macy Cook will head to the Houston Ballet Academy next month, where she has been accepted into its professional full-time training program with a full tuition scholarship. She is currently dancing with Chilton Ballet Academy and Step Out Dance Company and has just completed a two week internship with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

“It is amazing to receive this award for the Foundation and the financial support will help me so much. I am so grateful.”

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