Music bursary event at Birley


A music bursary evening is taking place on May 17 at the Birley Centre named in memory of the woman who has organised the event in past years.

Marianne Williams – a committed member of Eastbourne AM Rotary Club – died before Christmas after a courageous battle with cancer, and the awards are now called the Marianne Williams Music Scholarships.

Nineteen young musicians from across East Sussex have entered for the evening, and they will all be performing live from 6.30pm, with bursaries totalling £1,800 up for grabs.

The awards are being organised by Marcus Plant from the East Sussex Music Service and members of Eastbourne AM, including Marianne’s widower Geoffrey Williams.

There are two sections – one for Grades 3 to 5 and one for Grade 5+, with £400 for the winner in each category, £300 for the runner-up and £200 for third prize.

Among the judges is Nick Parsons Smith, the director of music at Eastbourne College.

Peter Lindsey, president of Eastbourne AM, said, “We are keen to get the message across that this event is open to the public, with admission a mere £3, so if you are a keen supporter of young musicians, aged from 10 to late teens, then please come along.

“Marianne was a key member of our Rotary club and such a kind person.

“She worked tirelessly for CRUSE Bereavement Care for many years and staged a number of very successful fundraising opera evenings.

“We are keen that her name lives on – her memory will never fade within our club – and the bursary seems most appropriate.”

Her husband Geoffrey, also a member of Rotary AM, said, “The family is most proud that the bursary will now be named after our beloved Marianne.

“ It was always a very special event for her, taking a great deal of her devoted time to organise. She would be very pleased.”

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