BADAC Bursary Awards

Once again the youngsters of the Burton area have demonstrated the vast array of talent we have performing in the town and its surroundings.

Burton and District Arts Council (BADAC) held their annual general meeting at the Brewhouse arts centre on May 20th which was followed by the traditional concert given by some of the young people who have been awarded bursaries by the organisation.

There were representatives of the arts from musical theatre, drama, solo vocalists, accompanied singers, pianists, a flautist and a percussionist. Coral Gould was the accompanist for some of the performers.

The evening’s entertainment was opened by Wil Pearson on piano who sang Come by Me by Harry Connick Jr, a boogie woogie piece that showed off both Wil’s voice and his piano-playing ability.

Next up was Emma Carter with Better from Little Women which she sang very well.

From the world of drama we had Georgia Evans, as Rita, with a well-performed extract from Educating Rita. Georgia was followed by Rebecca Fisher who sang and tapped her way through I Got the Sun in the Morning” from Annie Get Your Gun. I thought that she appeared to have gained in confidence in the past 12 months.

Following on from the tap dancing was Ewan Bourne who sang The Year Turns Round Again, from War Horse, unaccompanied – both moving and mesmerising. Scarlett Marchant then brought musical theatre to the fore again with a good rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita.

James Vickers, who showed his talent on the saxophone last year, chose to entertain us this time with Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair on piano – for which he showed a delicate touch.

Eleanor Skinner was up next with a great rendition of Freddy My Love, from Grease, which was really lit up by her fantastic last note. Jack Broughton led us into Les Miserables with a well-realised Master of the House. He was followed by Katie Ireland performing On My Own from the same show superbly. With even the trickiest of lyrics perfectly audible.

Syrinx by Debussy was the chosen piece by flautist Rebekkah Lycett during which you could have heard a pin drop such was the attention paid by the audience.

Keely Russell gave a great performance of Popular from Wicked and the evening’s entertainment was rounded off by Will Raybould on a snare drum. Leaving BADAC chairman Geoff Thompson to remark that when Will first applied for a grant he was a little boy behind a large drum kit but now he had grown his kit had shrunk.

There was a round of applause during the concert for all of the fine arts bursary winners and at the end of the performances the Mayor of East Staffordshire and President of BADAC, Councillor Ron Clarke presented the bursaries.

It was noted by the BADAC chairman that for many of the recipients it would be their last time at the awards as many of them were going off to universities and onto drama and ballet schools to further their careers in the arts. Chairman Geoff Thompson also paid tribute to the council and the many businesses and groups in the town who donate the funds which enable the BADAC bursaries to continue.

Before the show commenced there was a special presentation of a Burton and District Arts Council Honorary Lifetime Membership Award to Brian Alston in recognition of the voluntary work he has done for both BADAC and the Brewhouse. Brian ran the BADAC volunteer bar for many years, giving up much of his time to maintain what was a vital service for audiences of our own affiliated groups and all the other public events held at the Brewhouse arts centre.

Bill Pritchard.

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