GIFTED: Ben Leedom of Federal and Kate Bye of Goonengerry get a feel for the Byron Community Centre’s Steinway before next week’s show.
GIFTED: Ben Leedom of Federal and Kate Bye of Goonengerry get a feel for the Byron Community Centre’s Steinway before next week’s show. Kate Oneill

Youngsters on grand

BEN Leedom and Kate Bye are just two of the shire's talented young musicians who will tickle the ivories alongside David Helfgott in Byron this month.

They were at the venue, the Byron Community Centre, last week to witness its magnificent Steinway piano being tuned for the occasion, a youth concert hosted by the Byron Music Society.

Society artistic director Diti Dickson said the concert was important for young performers in the region.

"We established the Youth Music Project in 2006 to support and encourage emerging artists in the region and provide them with an opportunity to play a Steinway concert grand piano in a professional performance space," she said.

"We hope the concert will inspire our younger music students to greater heights." David Helfgott is a multi-award-winning Australian pianist whose inspiring life was captured by actor Geoffrey Rush in the 1996 film, Shine, which highlighted his love of the composer Rachmaninov.

He has performed sellout shows in major venues around the world and has been a loyal supporter of musicians in the Northern Rivers.

Francis Atkins, 14, from South Golden Beach, will perform one of Chopin's famous nocturnes.

"I can't wait to play the Steinway, it's such a beautiful piano," Francis said.

"I'm also looking forward to seeing David Helfgott play."

Ben will play the first movement of the Mozart K331 sonata, and Kate the theme to The Pirates of the Caribbean.

The concert starts at 3pm, on Sunday, November 18, at the Byron Community Centre.

Tickets are available at the door only from 2pm. The cost for adults is $10 and children are free.



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