Joel Abernethy was a young man from NSW, who began playing electric guitar at 11 years old. As his mother said, “Music was his solace, his passion and his creative outlet”. Joel passed away in 2010.
The Joel Abernethy Advantage was established by the ACMF in February 2014, with a generous donation from Joel’s parents, Wendy Smyrk and John Abernethy, to honour their son’s memory.
A discretionary award is made each year – to provide support and encouragement to a young ACMF music student who displays outstanding personal and musical attributes, and to help aspiring young musicians to reach their goals.
This year’s recipient’s name is Zain. Zain is in Year 5, and was nominated by ACMF teacher Rachel Scott, who teaches him music at St Therese Catholic Primary School Sadleir.
Rachel writes, “When Zain first met me, the first thing he told me about was his love for the violin”. Zain had previously enjoyed a few months of lessons before he arrived in Australia, and misses his violin very much. Even though he has his own instrument and practises often, he doesn’t want to forget what he’s learnt so far. Zain works well at school, and is always beautifully behaved in music lessons.
Zain told Rachel “I really love my violin, Miss Rachel… it has been a real friend to me”. Zain brought his violin into school to play to his class, and share his talent.
With funds from his scholarship, Zain will receive an entire year’s worth of weekly violin lessons from a local teacher. Rachel looks forward to seeing her student Zain blossom, given this opportunity.
CLICK HERE to see him in action.