Music, quite simply, moves us. A single song can move us forward or take us back on a journey of our memories. Music is capable of calming us into a state of serenity or inspiring us with its energy. Those gifted with musical talents lift spirits and make lighter the burdens we carry. The new Global Youth Music Competition promoted by International President Eberhard J. Wirfs recognizes how culturally and critically significant music is to civilized society. Every culture has its own unique musical history, and now talented young musicians from around the world will be able to showcase their artistic abilities through this new, exciting contest. Each of the seven constitutional areas of Lions Clubs International (LCI) can nominate one candidate, who must not be more than 25 years of age on Jan. 1st and reside in the area for at least five years prior to that date in the year of the completion level. The final competition will be held in conjunction with the yearly international convention and all costs for the participant to attend the event will be paid by LCI. In 2010, that venue will be in Sydney, Australia, and the chosen instrument for the competition will be the violin. Instrument choice will change every year and be selected from a list of 10 “classical” instruments — piano, violin, cello, viola, clarinet, flute, trumpet, oboe, classical guitar and voice (soprano and tenor). Grand prizes of US$10,000, US$7,000 and US$3,000 will be awarded for first to third places, respectively, in addition to cash awards given to winners at previous levels. Candidates at this level (First) will perform one imposed piece, plus two additional pieces selected from a repertoire list for a panel of five judges who are active musicians, professors of music and those knowledgeable in the field. The contest will consist of two parts. In the preliminary competition, candidates will perform the imposed piece plus an additional one from the repertoire list. The finals will consist of a concert open to the public at a venue in the city in which the international convention is being held. Candidates will perform their second selected piece from the repertoire list and judges will make their decision based upon all three pieces performed by contestants. The instrument and repertoire list will be announced 2.5 years ahead of the event in order to allow for contestants’ preparation. All Lions will be winners because of the competition. The cultural event will allow young musicians to develop their skills, establish an image building project that illustrates Lions’ commitment to serving youth, and help assimilate into the association new countries and geographic areas such as Eastern Europe and China. European Lions have held a successful musical competition since 1991. The competition was the brainchild of Lion Thomas Kuty of France, who was responsible for the event until his death in 1998. Grand prize winners have hailed from Italy, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Germany, Austria and the British Isles. It is vital to offer youth the ability to grow and to reach further to attain their goals, Wirfs strongly believes. “We need to continue to encourage Lions to work and serve youth as we continue to grow our association,” he maintains. “We must stretch—stretch in our dreams, our plans and our actions. This music competition will not only promote social and cultural understanding and appreciation, but will also underscore our commitment to young people.” For information on the youth music competition, visit www.lionsclubs.org.
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