Carbonear's Matthew Cooper wins coveted junior Rose Bowl

Melissa Jenkins
Published on April 9, 2014

From the moment he wakes up in the morning to when he goes to bed at night, 16-year-old Matthew Cooper of Carbonear is singing.

At least, that’s what his mom Sherrie Ann said April 8 after Matthew was awarded with the coveted junior Rose Bowl award at the 44th Carbonear Kiwanis regional music festival. He was announced as the winner during the first of three grand concerts, showcasing the top talent from the previous week’s competition.

Matthew has been telling family members he was going to be a singer for many years, and last night he took home the biggest award of his life … so far. In fact, he called the first grand concert, “one of the most amazing nights in my entire life.”

His dad, Scott, was away in Alberta, but managed to get a play-by-play through text messages from Matthew’s mom.

“We are so proud,” Sherrie Ann exclaimed.

Matthew admitted he was anxious while waiting on the stage for other awards to be presented, but his face lit up when he learned he was the Rose Bowl recipient.

“I am just so happy,” he said.

With only three years of specialized training, Matthew was overwhelmed with the success he experienced. Singing is his passion, and he said he was honoured just to receive the nomination.

Matthew, an admirer of musicals, performed two songs, Bluebird, and a satirical tune called The Genius. Stephen MacDonald, also from Carbonear, was the runner-up. He played Sonatina in C Major and Toccatina on the piano.

“It didn’t matter who was going to win,” Sherrie Ann said. “Either way, Matthew was going to cry.”

Matthew was the last to leave the Sheila NaGeira Theatre because most of those in attendance congratulated him personally. Many even stopped for a photo with him and his trophy.

On his way out, his mom told him there was one last surprise waiting for him — a congratulatory cake.

Matthew is a student of Calvin Powell.