Young NI Musicians Shortlisted For Prestigious Award

Pictured is one of the NI finalists, Susanna Griffin from Strathearn School, Belfast along with Garth Farmer, Castlereagh Bank of Ireland UK branch manager and Heather McIvor, Music teacher at Strathearn School

Three talented young classical musicians from across Northern Ireland have been named as finalists in the national final of Bank of Ireland UK’s Catherine Judge Memorial Award 2016.

The Award is part of the bank’s wider schools programme, the most comprehensive of its kind in Northern Ireland and was created as a lasting tribute to Catherine Judge, an employee of Bank of Ireland UK, who passed away in August 2005. The final will take place in the Great Hall, Queens University, Belfast on Saturday April 16.

Now in its tenth year, the Catherine Judge Memorial Award is presented annually to an exceptional solo classical musician who wishes to pursue third-level music education. The Award provides invaluable financial assistance to an outstanding classical musician student and aims to support a new generation of musical talent.

The shortlisted finalists are: Matthew Kendall from St Malachy’s College in Belfast, Olivia Palmer-Baker from Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards and Susanna Griffin from Strathearn School, Belfast.

The talented solo musicians will perform in front of a distinguished panel of judges, including chair of the panel, Barry Douglas OBE, world renowned pianist and founder of Camerata Ireland. The winner of the award will receive a bursary of £5,000 towards their musical studies and their nominated school or society will receive £1000 for the purchase of a musical instrument.

Barry Douglas said: “I am delighted to once again be involved in the Catherine Judge Memorial Award. Having chaired the inaugural award it’s wonderful to return ten years later and see this fantastic award once again providing a very special and unique opportunity for these young musicians to showcase their talent. Congratulations to the three talented young musicians selected for the final stage and I wish them the best of luck.”

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 show case their talents. I would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted students on reaching the final stage of the Award and look forward to hearing them perform in the final.”

For further information about the Catherine Judge Memorial Award visit

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