Pupils compete in prestigious music contest

Robert Harrison is pictured with Bank of Ireland UK's Lisburn Business Advisor Patrick Rooney and Friends' Head of Music Niamh Blakeman.
Robert Harrison is pictured with Bank of Ireland UK's Lisburn Business Advisor Patrick Rooney and Friends' Head of Music Niamh Blakeman.

Two local pupils have been shortlisted for the final of the Bank of Ireland UK’s Catherine Judge Memorial Award.

Robert Harrison from Friends School Lisburn and Zoe Jackson from Wallace High School will compete in the final of the music competition this weekend.

Zoe and Robert will perform in front of a distinguished panel of judges at the final in the Great Hall, Queens University on Saturday April 18.

It is the ninth year of the Bank of Ireland’s Catherine Judge Memorial Award which aims to support a new generation of musical talent and is presented annually to an exceptional solo classical musician who wishes to pursue third-level music education.

The winner of the award will receive a bursary of £5,000 towards their musical studies and, for the first time in the history of the award, their nominated school or society will receive £1,000.

The award was created as a lasting tribute to Catherine Judge, an employee of Bank of Ireland UK, who passed away in August 2005.

Catherine had a great love of music and loved to see young people get opportunities to grow and develop.

Sean Sheehan, Regional Director, NI Consumer & Small Business, Bank of Ireland UK said: “This Award is a fantastic opportunity for young musicians across the island of Ireland to showcase their talents. I would like to congratulate the shortlisted students on reaching the final stage of the Award and look forward to hearing them perform at the final.”

Abigail McDonagh, a violinist and last year’s winner commented: “The Bank of Ireland Catherine Judge Memorial Award is a unique competition set apart from any other as it offers an invaluable musical experience and considerable financial support for young musicians.

“As well as providing a goal and a performance platform, it creates opportunities which otherwise would not be possible for young music students.”