NSO Betsy L. Kent Youth Concerto Competition
Announcing the 2023-2024 Betsy L. Kent Youth Concerto Competition.
Applications and payments are due October 10, 2023
APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN
Application deadline Tuesday, October 10th; auditions held Saturday, November 4th. Please see the flyer and application forms for dates and details.
A high school and college winner will be selected. Both will be awarded a $400 honorarium, and will perform with the Newark Symphony Orchestra in March or May of the following year*.
A non-refundable fee of $40 must accompany each application.
When paying by check, make checks payable to: Newark Symphony Orchestra
**Competition winners permit the Newark Symphony Orchestra to make photographs, audio recordings and video recordings of Symphony activities in which they participate for archives, publicity, sale or other purposes without additional notice, consent or compensation and disclaim any ownership or property interest in and any power to control any such services, photographs and recordings. Sample contract available on request.
For assistance contact Tom Rocek, email@example.com.
October 2019, the Newark Symphony Orchestra Annual Youth Concerto Competition was dedicated to our dear friend and colleague, Betsy L. Kent. Betsy filled numerous roles during her many years associated with the Newark Symphony Orchestra and the Newark Symphony Chorus. She was a reliable and smiling presence, happy to step in and help in any way needed. Betsy served on the Newark Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and was one of the original organizers of the Newark Symphony Chorus serving as Chorus Master, rehearsal accompanist, and membership chair. She conducted several Newark Symphony Chamber Concerts, as well. On the NSO Board, Betsy was a valued member of the NSO Program Committee. Her main passion, though, was Education & Outreach. In that capacity she was responsible for making our Youth Concerto Competition a regionally sought after prize. We will miss you, dear friend.
2022 Concerto Competition Winners
Violinist Njioma Grevious of Boston, MA and Washington, DC, is a versatile chamber and orchestral musician who completed her undergraduate studies at The Juilliard School and is currently studying at the University of Delaware as a graduate string quartet fellow. In 2018 she won First Prizes for Performance and Interpretation in the Prix Ravel chamber music competition in France, and as a winner of a Keston-Max Fellowship she studied and performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2022. Along with her colleagues in the Abeo Quartet, Njioma participated in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, won First Prize and the Audience Favorite Prize in the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles and was Silver Medal winner of the 2022 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, all in 2022.
At the University of Delaware, Njioma is a student of Ryan Meehan and previously studied with Ronald Copes at Juilliard, where she was a recipient of a Jerome L. Greene scholarship. Njioma is also grateful to have been a scholarship recipient for many years through Boston’s Project STEP string training program for underrepresented youth, where she studied with Farhoud Moshfegh, Marianna Green-Hill and later James Buswell.
High School Division Co-Winner
Daniel Qi is a freshman at Archmere Academy in Wilmington Delaware. He is a violin student at the Temple University Music Prep’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians (CGYM), where he studies with Charles Parker. Daniel made his solo orchestra debut at the age of 11. In 2020, he was selected as a finalist in the Philadelphia Orchestra Albert M. Greenfield Competition. He is a two-time winner of the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians (2019 and 2021), a gold winner of the 2021 Bösendorfer Youth Music Festival, the first-place winner of the 2019 Estella Hillersohn Frankel Violin Scholarship, and the winner of 2021 Delaware Music Teachers Association Competition in junior string division. Daniel has performed in masterclasses with many renowned violinists, including Ida Kavafian, Robert Chen, Daniel Phillips, Soovin Kim, Jennifer Koh, Katherine Cho, Hagai Shaham, and Simon James. He has previously participated in Delaware All State Orchestra and Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra. A member of the CGYM’s Youth Chamber Orchestra, Daniel loves to play chamber music. He plays The Howard A. Levin, M.D. violin, an 1855 Derazey, on generous loan from Temple Music Prep. Outside of music, Daniel enjoys reading, gardening, and playing soccer.
Zubin Park, seventeen, is a senior cellist residing in Wilmington Delaware. He began his studies at age eight and has been studying with Gloria dePasquale and Thomas Kraines. He is the co-principal cellist at Temple Music Program’s pre-college division and is a full scholarship at Settlement Music School, where he plays in the Trowbridge Advanced Study String Quartet. He has also served as principal cellist in the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra. He has won first place in competitions including the Kings Peak Music Competition, and the Bösendorfer Youth Music Festival. He is also an active volunteer, performing monthly concerts in retirement homes across the greater Delaware area. He attends the Bowdoin Music Festival over the summer.
In his free time, Zubin rows, reads, and enjoys playing the competitive board game Catan.
2021 Concerto Competition Winners
Bethany Bobbs is a cellist at The Juilliard School, where she studies with Joel Krosnick and Astrid Schween. She attends Juilliard with a full-scholarship awarded by the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship. She has attended the Perlman Music Program and PMP Suncoast since 2017 where she studied with Clara Kim, Paul Katz, and Zvi Plesser. Bethany has won numerous prizes, including winner of the Lynn Harrell Competition, Adelphi Young Artists Competition, LISMA International Competition, Houston Symphony Concerto Competition, and an award at the National YoungArts Competition. Already a seasoned soloist, she has performed with orchestras such as the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, Newark Symphony, Houston Symphony, Georgia Philharmonic, Yonkers Philharmonic Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Ocala Symphony, among many others. Bethany is currently a Jupiter Symphony Chamber Player, where she performs each month alongside musicians such as Paul Neubauer, Stella Chen, and Stefan Jackiw. Besides performing, Bethany has been recognized by The Strad and The ViolinChannel for using her musical talent to help others. In 2020, Bethany and her twin sister, Susanna, founded a non-profit organization known as Harmony for Healing which has provided financial aid to unemployed artists struggling during COVID-19 and Ukrainian refugees in need of medical supplies and humanitarian aid. Bethany is a recipient of the Arkady Fomin Scholarship Fund and NFMC Michael Edwards Award.
High School Winner
Gabriela Salvador-Riera is a 10th grade vocal and strings major at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington. She began playing violin at age six in Valencia, Spain, and has been studying with Julianne Murphy Ruiz at the Music School of Delaware (MSD) since 2015. Gabriela is an alum of the Sphinx Performance Academy at the Curtis Institute in 2018, 2019, and 2021, and at Cleveland Institute of Music in 2020; She is a two-year recipient of the SPA X-Factor Award, and in 2019 was awarded the prestigious Sphinx MPower Grant to continue her studies in the Honors Program at Music School of Delaware. This past summer she participated in the 2021 Heifetz PEG Institute, where she studied with Francesca dePasquale. In 2021, Gabriela was selected as one of ten participants of the inaugural national cohort of Fortissima, an artistic and leadership development program for high school-age young women in classical music at the Colburn School, where she is mentored by Karla Donehew-Perez of the Catalyst Quartet. Gabriela is a 1st violin in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) for the 2021-22 season. Since 2020, Gabriela has been a PMAY artist, and that year was named a Coastal Concerts Scholarship winner.
At the Music School of Delaware, Gabriela was concertmaster of the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, under the direction of Maestro Simeone Tartaglione. She was named winner of the 2020 DYSO Concerto Competition, and was 1st Runner-up in the 2021 Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians. She was also a 2020 and 2021 recipient of the MSD Honor Award and Merit Scholarship, and winner of the Estella Hillersohn Frankel Violin Scholarship Competition.
At Cab Calloway, Gabriela is a soprano in the High School Vocal program, concertmaster of the select High School Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Con Fuego steel drum ensemble. In 2018, she was named Outstanding Student Accompanist in the Festival Disney Vocal Competition in Orlando FL. Gabriela was a soprano in the 2019 Delaware All-State Jr Choir, and distinguished as a top ten violinist in both the 2019 and 2020 Delaware All-State Orchestra. She served as Treasurer of the National Junior Honor Society, and in 2020 was honored with the Cab Calloway Medal, the top arts and academic distinction for 8th grade graduates.
Gabriela volunteers with MELODY (Music Enriches Lives of Delaware Youth), an after-school music program for 5-7 year-old children from the city of Wilmington. She also enjoys reading and participating in musical theater productions.
Junxue (Julius) Huang is a senior at the Haverford School in Haverford, PA. He started playing violin at the age of four and came to the U.S. for high school. Before his departure, Julius has received music training from professors in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Tongji University, and the Shanghai Normal University. After coming to the States, he has followed Mr. Ying Fu, the associate concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra, for four years. He has also taken master classes with principles and concertmasters in prestigious orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Julius has attended many music festivals and garnered awards, including the Hong Kong International String Open Competition, the MTNA state competition, and the Tri-county Chamber Music Competition. He received his diploma in violin performance with distinction from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in 2018 and has appeared as a guest soloist in various universities and schools since then, such as Fudan University in Shanghai and the Haverford Conservatory. He is currently the concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra and the Haverford Orchestra.
Genevieve Hahn graduated summa cum laude from the University of Delaware in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance and a minor in Vocal Performance. She is presently a second-year graduate student pursuing two Master’s degrees in Flute Performance and Vocal Performance at the University of Delaware, where she studies flute with Professor Eileen Grycky and voice with Dr. Isai Jess Munoz.
In her vocal pursuits, Genna won the Greater Philadelphia NATS Advanced College Musical Theater Treble Competition in 2021 and Adult/College Musical Theater Competition in 2018, and took 2nd place in the GPNATS Advanced College/Independent Studio Classical Treble Voice Competition in 2020 and 2021.
This past summer, Genna was accepted into the Spotlight on Opera program, where she performed the role of The Princess (L’enfant et les sortileges), in scene studies as Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), and was featured in their concerts. This year, she has been cast as Alcina in Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero at the University of Delaware.
In her choral pursuits at the University of Delaware, she has been a member of University Singers, Schola Cantorum, and Chorale, of which she is presently a member. She was selected to take part in a 12-day choral residency at Cambridge University in the winter of 2022.
In her pursuits as a flautist, Genna has fulfilled the positions of principal flute or piccolo in the UD Symphony Orchestra and the UD Wind Ensemble, of which she is presently principal. She was also chosen to be the principal of that same group for their tour of Prague in the summer of 2022.
Genna has been, and is presently, a part of a number of chamber ensembles, including Collegium Musicum, in which she plays the Baroque flute as well as various recorders. In 2020, she was the flute/piccolo musician in the orchestra for the premiere performances of the new musical Shanghai Sonatas in Mitchell Hall.
In 2021, she won the UD Concerto Competition and took second place in the Eastern Division of the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Performance Competition in 2019. She also won the DSMTA Award at UD for Outstanding Performance in 2017, the NSO Youth Concerto Competition College Division in 2018, and the UD Honors Recital Competition in 2020. In 2021, she was chosen for the NFA Professional Flute Choir.
She combines her musical pursuits in her full-time work as a salaried vocalist and flautist at the Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church and has also guest performed on both instruments at numerous churches in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania over the past seven years.
She is a member of four honor societies, including Pi Kappa Lambda, Eta Chi Chapter, and Phi Kappa Phi. Among Genna’s other pursuits are donating to and performing for fundraisers such as the Johnathan Beech Memorial Concert, which raises money to benefit children who are dealing with chronic/life-threatening illnesses, and the Annual Benefit Concert to Combat Human Trafficking. And on the even more personal side, Genna is a Muppet and Disney fan living in Newark, DE with her parents, four cats, and crested gecko.
2020 Concerto Competition Winners
Sivani Srinivasan, 16, has been studying the violin since the age of five. She currently studies with Dr. Vladimir Dyo and previously studied under Julianne Murphy Ruiz at the Music School of Delaware. Sivani was a member of the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) for five years, concluding her time there as co-concertmaster. She has also been a member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO) and is currently a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO). Sivani has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Honors Performance Series and, more recently, with the Global Music Partnership All-Star Orchestra. In 2019, she won a partial scholarship and was invited to participate in the Seoul International Music Camp Festival, and in 2018, she won the DYSO Concerto Competition. Sivani recently began studying the piano with Dr. Anna Kislitsyna. She attends Unionville High School, where she is in the top chamber choir, which has performed at venues and events such as Longwood Gardens and the Phillies baseball games. Outside of music, Sivani is a member of her school’s chapters of the NHS and Tri-M honors societies and has been on various competition teams, including academic teams and the speech and debate team.
High School Winner
Gabriel Huang is currently 15 years old and is studying at Tower Hill High School. He began his violin studies at age 6 at the Music School of Delaware with Julie Ruiz. He currently studies with Vladimir Dyo in the music preparatory division of Temple University. Gabriel has won many awards in competitions such as the MTNA Eastern Division Competition, MTNA Delaware Competition, American Protege, Betsy L Kent Youth Competition, and Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians. He has also performed in major concert venues likes Carnegie Hall. Since his orchestral debut at age 10, he has been invited to perform with the Newark Symphony Orchestra, Wilmington Community Orchestra, Tower Hill Chamber Orchestra, and Gloria Youth Orchestra. Since 7th grade, he has also participated in Delaware All-State Orchestra and has served as principal second violin. Currently, he also serves as concertmaster of the Tower Hill School Youth Orchestra. He also serves as the New Castle County regional director of the Back to Bach project and participates in the DoReMi volunteer project.
Zoe Yost, seventeen, is a violist, composer, and writer from Delaware. She has been playing for ten years and currently studies with Kerri Ryan, assistant principal viola in the Philadelphia Orchestra. She is principal violist in the Youth Chamber Orchestra at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians and a scholarship student in Settlement Music School’s Trowbridge Advanced Study String Quartet. A winner of numerous concerto and scholarship competitions, including the 2020 Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians and Coastal Concerts’ 2019-2020 Music Scholarship, she looks forward to returning to live performances. For the past three summers, she has attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine, as well as Valdres Sommersymfoni, a Norwegian festival, on scholarship in 2019.
After high school, Zoe plans to attend conservatory and pursue a career in viola performance and pedagogy. She is also honing her skills in fiction writing and composition, for which she has won several accolades.
Sam Kim, 15, is a sophomore at Conestoga High School. He has studied cello for 7 years and currently studies under Ohad Bar-David. Recently, he has been admitted to the PMEA district 12 region 6 festival and is yet to audition for all states. He has also traveled to Ecuador to play and spread the influence of music and plans to travel more in the future. In addition to music, Sam enjoys playing soccer and running track.
Nicolette Marie Sullivan-Cozza began studying the violin at the age of 4 and viola at the age of 11. She currently studies with Kerri Ryan, the Assistant Principal Violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Miss Sullivan-Cozza has participated in and won numerous competitions including first prize in the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians, the IU Jacobs School of Music Summer String Academy Concerto Competition, and the Catholic University of America Young Artist Competition. She has also placed in competitions such as the Fredericks Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Concerto Competition, the American Protege International Piano, and Strings competition, and was selected as one of the six finalists of the 2016 American Viola Society Biannual Solo Competition. In addition, she is a recipient of the Sphinx MPower Grant and the Coastal Concerts Scholarship. She is currently the Principal Violist of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Associate Principal Violist of the Temple University Music Preparatory Youth Chamber Orchestra, is a Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY) artist and a Primavera artist. She attends the Cab Calloway School of the Arts where she is a distinguished honors student and a member of The National Honor Society.
2019 Concerto Competition Winners
Cellist Maxine Chou, age seventeen, is a junior at Wilmington Friends School. She began studying the piano at age five and cello at age eight with Jennifer Stomberg. Maxine has also studied with Amy Barston and Joann Whang. From 2014 to 2018, Maxine was a member of the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra and Delaware Youth Soloists. Currently, she is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Maxine is enrolled in the Honors Program and the Certificate Program at the Music School of Delaware. Maxine is a recipient of the Peter H. Flint (2018) and the Anthony “Tony” G. Simmons (2019) Merit Scholarship Awards. In 2018, Maxine performed at Carnegie Hall as a winner of the Elite International Music Competition. Last March, she performed as a soloist with the Wilmington Community Orchestra after winning first place in the senior division of the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians. Maxine is also a frequent performer for Pacem in Terris, a nonprofit organization that uses the arts to promote peace. For the past three years, Maxine has tutored an adult cello student. In her spare time, she enjoys fashion, travel, and spending time with her family and friends.
Vibha Janakiraman, age 14, began her violin studies when she was 6 years old. She currently studies with Catherine Cho at the Pre-college division of the Juilliard School, and previously studied with Lee Snyder at Settlement Music School. A 9th grader at the PA Leadership Charter School (PALCS) University Scholars Program, Vibha has performed in reputable venues such as the Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the Met Philadelphia, and the Lincoln Center. Vibha made her orchestral debut at the age of 11 with the Wilmington Community Orchestra as a winner of the 2017 Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians. In the 2019-20 season, she will be appearing as a soloist with the Ambler Symphony and the Main Line Symphony as the winner of their concerto competitions.
Vibha is the violinist of the Gray Charitable Trust Advanced Study Scholarship Piano Trio coached by Sandra Carlock at Settlement Music School. She has also been a member of the PMAY Arts Initiative since 2017, and attended the 2019 Young Artist Summer Program at the Curtis Institute of Music. Aside from playing the violin, Vibha’s interests include playing Indian classical music (violin), learning Sanskrit, Math, Composing, and Penguins.
Christine Walthers is a first year graduate student at the University of Delaware, where she studies percussion performance. She received her B.M. in Music Education in the spring of 2019 from the University of Delaware as well. Christine currently serves as the principal percussionist in UD’s Wind Ensemble, and has also performed with their Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Band. She has gone on tour with the Symphony Orchestra to China and the Wind Ensemble to Spain. Christine is the studio graduate assistant to UD’s percussion studio, and the teaching assistant for the steel band. During her time at UD, she has studied under Harvey Price, Orlando Cotto, and Kristian Paradis. Christine has been studying percussion for almost a decade, and her favorite percussion instruments include the steel pan and timpani. After college, she hopes to teach percussion and steel band at the collegiate level.
2018 Concerto Competition Winners
Juliana Castillo , 16, studies viola under Shelley Beard Santore at the Music School of Delaware. She began playing violin at 4, studying with Julianne Murphy Ruiz, and has been playing viola for three years. She is the assistant principal violist of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, a Music School of Delaware Merit Scholar, and violist of the Gabriel Braverman String Quartet, a Settlement Music School Advanced Study Scholarship Program ensemble coached by the former associate principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Sidney Curtiss. This summer, Juliana attended the Perlman Music Program Summer Music School.
Juliana received the Coastal Concerts Music Scholarship in 2018. She performed with the Wilmington Community Orchestra as winner of the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians (junior division) in spring of 2018 and with the Ambler Symphony as a 2018-19 Elmer and Louise Menges Scholarship recipient in February 2019.
David Clarke, violin. Born in Newark, Delaware, David is a junior at Radnor High School. On Saturdays, he attends the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) Precollege program as a student of Anat Malkin Almani. He has attended many summer festivals, including Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, and Summit Music Festival, where he studied under Herbert Greenberg and Victor Danchenko and collaborated with Emil Chudnovsky, Kyungok Park, and Yoni Levyatov. David won many competitions and performed in major venues including Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center and Lincoln Center. In April, he will perform in Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium as principal second of MSM’s Philharmonic Orchestra in Manhattan School of Music’s Centennial Gala. David currently participates in a trio as part of the Advanced Study Program of the Settlement Music School on full scholarship, preparing and performing contemporary works by Jennifer Higdon, David Ludwig, and Paul Schoenfield.
Genevieve Hahn is a senior flute performance major and voice performance minor at the University of Delaware, where she studies flute with Professor Eileen Grycky. At the university, Genna has fulfilled the positions of principal flute or piccolo in the UD Symphony Orchestra and the UD Wind Ensemble. In 2017 and 2018, she was the Delaware representative for the Eastern Division of the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Performance Competition, and she won the DSMTA Award at UD for Outstanding Performance in 2017. Genna has performed in master classes with Erica Peel, Gary Schocker, Greg Patillo, Amy Porter, and Katherine Hoover. Genna studied with Melinda Bowman at the Music School of Delaware. In her vocal pursuits, Genna won the Greater Philadelphia National Association of Teachers of Singing Adult/College Musical Theater Competition in 2018. She is a member of four honor societies, including Pi Kappa Lambda Eta Chi Chapter and Phi Kappa Phi.
2017 Concerto Competition Winners
Jonathan Duan is a native of QingDao China where he began piano lessons at the age of four. He has won many prestigious awards and competitions including The First Great China Area Youth Arts Festival in 2007; second place in the Internationaler Deutscher Irmler-Klavierwettbewerb in 2013; and The Dandelion Selective Activity for Youngster’s Outstanding Artistic Stars in 2013 sponsored by SrikDu.
In 2015, Jonathan came to America to study English at Tall Oaks Classical School in Bear, DE. He is sixteen years old and currently a sophomore. Since arriving in the states, Jonathan has studied piano under Akiko Turley, Dr. Erickson Rojas and Lotus Cheng.
He is currently enrolled at the Wilmington School of Music.
Most recently, Jonathan was awarded the inaugural Samuel Hsu Piano Scholarship to attend Chamberfest at CSEHY Summer School of Music.
Alison Hoffman is a senior Music Education major at the University of Delaware. She studies with Eileen Grycky, flute professor at UD. At UD, Alison has been a member of Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, multiple chamber groups, Flute Choir, Marching Band, and Pep Band. Outside of performing, she also enjoys teaching private lessons to students who have ranged from ages 8 to 70.
Last Spring, Alison won the Murray Panitz Memorial competition of the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia and performed Olivier Messiaen’s “Le Merle Noir” on a winners recital at the FSGP Flute Fair. She has performed in flute and piccolo masterclasses with Amy Porter, Sarah Jackson, Katherine Hoover, Alice K. Dade, and Lois Herbine. Alison won the UD Music Department Jefferson Award to spend a week studying with Jeffrey Khaner, principal flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Curtis Summerfest last summer.
After a full semester of student teaching elementary and high school band this spring, Alison hopes to pursue a masters in flute performance starting in the fall.
2016 Concerto Competition Winners
Isaiah Kim is a 15 years old cellist from Wallingford, PA. He debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 11 as a winner of the Children’s division of the Albert Greenfield Student Competition. Isaiah has won numerous concerto competitions during his young musical career and has performed as a soloist with the Warminster Symphony, the Bucks County Symphony, the Old York Road Symphony, the Ambler Symphony and Temple University’s Youth Chamber orchestras. Isaiah was also the first place winner in the junior strings division of the Tri-County Youth Festival and in March, 2014 Isaiah took top honors as the national winner at the MTNA National competition in Chicago, IL. Isaiah was recently featured on NPR’s “From the Top”, a national radio broadcast, as a soloist performing live at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Isaiah has been studying the cello for eleven years and he currently studies with Priscilla Lee of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is a member of the Youth Chamber Orchestra at the Temple University Music Prep’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. Isaiah attended the Meadowmount School of Music, the Heifetz International Music Institute, the Harpa International Music Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, and the Perlman Music Program. Isaiah has performed at master classes with Ronald Leonard, Hans Jensen, Lynn Harrell, Peter Stumpf and Timothy Eddy and has performed at numerous concerts in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. Isaiah is a sophomore at the Strath Haven High School and when not playing the cello, he loves to sing and enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and ping pong. Isaiah plays a John Juzek cello made in 1939, generously loaned to him by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.
Cellist Sabine Jung, age 16, is a sophomore at Unionville High School. She is currently under the tutelage of Priscilla Lee, associate principal of the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra. Her former teachers include Dr. Mira Kang and Dr. Tomasz Rzeczycki. She started playing the cello at age eight but began her musical studies at age five with piano lessons.
Her honors and achievements for cello include High Honors in the New Jersey Music Teachers Association Recital Auditions in 2012. Sabine was a participant of the Central New Jersey Regional Intermediate Orchestra (CJMEA) and the New Jersey All-State Intermediate Orchestra (NJMEA) in 2013. She performed in a master class in 2013 with Jonathan Spitz, principal cellist of the New Jersey Orchestra. During 2014, Sabine attended the Philadelphia International Music Festival (PIMF) and received third place for the Kennett Symphony Junior Instrumental Competition for Young Artists.
Ms. Jung is also an accomplished pianist. She was a first place winner in 2012 for the Crescendo International Competition and a second place winner in 2013 for the Golden Key Festival. For both of these competitions, she has performed at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York City.
Sabine’s achievement continued in 2015 as a member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO); she received 1st place for PYAO’s first annual concerto competition and performed as a soloist with the orchestra in Kimmel Center. Ms. Jung also won the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra (SPSO) Young Artists Competition and played with the orchestra, and won first place for the Kennett Symphony Junior Instrumental Competition for Young Artists. Additionally, Sabine received an honorable mention in the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Young Artists’ Competition and represented her middle school at the District 12 Pennsylvania 7/8th Grade Stringfest.
Ms. Jung expanded her orchestral experience by joining the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) for their 2015-2016 season and by being selected to attend the inaugural year of the National Youth Orchestra 2 organized by the Weill Music Institute of Carnegie Hall as principal cellist. Sabine also received 2nd place for the Tri-County Concerts Youth Festival Competition in the Senior Division in 2016.
Currently, Sabine is associate principal cellist of PYO’s 2016-2017 season. She received 1st in the instrumental division of the Pottstown Rotary Club’s 7th Annual Performing Arts Competition and accepted a musical scholarship. Sabine also won the Newark Symphony’s concerto competition and will perform with the orchestra in May 2017. She will also perform in PMEA District 12’s concert as 2nd chair.
In her free time, Sabine enjoys playing with her dog, Pompom. She is an honor roll student involved in multiple clubs, including student council, the student newspaper, the Interact club partnered with the Longwood Rotary club, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. Sabine also loves to volunteer by playing cello at the A.I. Dupont children’s hospital.
2015 Concerto Competition Winners
Conor McAvinue, viola/violin, is sixteen and a junior at Archmere Academy. He began playing the violin at the age of four and started playing the viola three years ago. Conor has been studying both instruments with Ms. Shelley Beard at the Music School of Delaware. He is also an Honor’s and Certificate Program student at The Music School of Delaware. Conor is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and is in the Advanced Studies Program at Settlement Music School where he receives a full scholarship to study chamber music with former Philadelphia Orchestra member Sidney Curtiss. In 2013-2014, Conor was the concertmaster of both the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) and Delaware Youth Soloists, the advanced ensemble of the DYSO. He was the principal violist of both the Delaware All State Orchestra in 2015 and the Delaware Honors Orchestra Festival in 2014. Conor won the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians at the Music School of Delaware in 2014 and 2011 and was also awarded the Estella Hillersohn Frankel Award Recipient in 2014 and 2012. Conor is also part of the Archmere Academy Mastersingers, one of the top ten high school choirs in the nation. When Conor is not playing his viola or violin, he likes to spend time playing basketball, photography, watching movies, and spending time with his family and friends.
Laura Yawney, Oboe, a twenty-year-old native of Clarksville, Maryland pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance at the University of Delaware. She has been very involved in performance since her freshman year and has served as principal oboe in the UD Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble. She is also a member of Nota Bene Winds, a woodwind quintet that performs throughout the state of Delaware. In addition, she is a member of the Con Pepe Trio, a competitive woodwind trio that has been named a finalist in the Music. Teachers National Association’s chamber music competition. Last summer, Laura attended the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Under the tutelage of Karen Birch-Blundell, Laura studied and played such major orchestra repertoire as Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 7, and Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin.
Beginning her oboe studies at age ten, Laura spent her high school years playing in various orchestras, including the Peabody Youth Orchestra and the Maryland All-State Senior Orchestra. She has studied with Barbara Girdler, Lloyd Shorter, and is currently studying with her principal teacher, Jeffrey O’Donnell.
Woodwind specialist Casey Wilkes originates from Pine, Colorado. A dynamic and adventurous clarinetist, Mr. Wilkes’ repertoire includes diverse selections from every period and genre of music. He enjoys a demanding performance schedule and was recently selected as the winner of the 2015 University of Delaware concerto competition and is a Delaware representative for the Eastern Divisional Music Teacher National Association Woodwind Solo competition. Among his greatest musical influences he cites Frank Zappa, Dmitri Shostakovitch, the French modernists, and Charles Mingus. Mr. Wilkes currently studies at the University of Delaware in pursuit of the Master of Music in Clarinet Performance.
Stephanie Bonk, violin, is a Senior honors student at Exeter Township Senior High School. She has been studying violin for nine years, currently with Sylvia Ahramjian, who she has been studying with for 7 years, and Dr. Timothy Schwarz. In addition to being concertmistress in her high school orchestra, Stephanie is concertmistress of the Philadelphia Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra and Philadelphia Sinfonia Orchestra, and is first violin in the Philadelphia Sinfonia Piano Quintet. In 2014 and 2015, Stephanie won top prize in the Reading Symphony Orchestra League Competition and placed second in the Atonement Bach Competition. She has received numerous scholarships and 1st place awards from the Reading Musical Foundation and has also been offered a Starling Scholarship at Temple Music-Prep. Stephanie soloed with the Millersville University Orchestra and Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra and won the Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s Voorhees Concerto Competition in May 2015. Last summer she attended the Northern Lights Music Festival, where she won the concerto competition and soloed with the Northern Lights Orchestra, and Techne Music Camp. Next year, she hopes to attend a conservatory to prepare for a career in violin performance.
2014 Concerto Competition Winners
Award-winning pianist and composer Jennifer Nicole Campbell appears as concerto soloist, chamber musician and recitalist in the mid-Atlantic US and Europe. Described as a “sensitive colorist and intelligent musician” (New York Concert Review), she has performed at notable halls including Lincoln Center, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and the Musikhauset Aarhus in Denmark. Her numerous awards include First Prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, the 1000 Islands Piano Competition, and the Baltimore Music Club Competition in addition to participating in various other competitions including the Hilton Head Intl. Piano Competition and the New York International Piano Competition. As concerto soloist, Ms. Campbell has performed with the Lansdowne Symphony, the Delaware County Symphony, and the Wilmington Community Orchestra among others.
Also an avid composer, Ms. Campbell’s works have been performed by various notable artists such as members of the Philadelphia Orchestra who premiered her Piano Trio No. 1. Her compositions have won the MTNA composition competitions in both Delaware and Pennsylvania, and her solo piano works have been premiered throughout the United States including halls at the University of Miami, the University of Buffalo, Canisius College, and the Peabody Conservatory.
In her academic pursuits, Ms. Campbell was awarded the Presser Scholar Award, the Peabody Alumni Award (as Valedictorian of Peabody’s class of 2014), and most recently the Peabody Career Development Grant. She is currently studying for her Masters degree at Peabody Conservatory, studying piano with Brian Ganz and composition with Judah Adashi. She has also worked with Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, and Seymour Lipkin among others.
For more information please visit her website at: www.jennifernicolecampbell.com
Carolyn Semes is a Distinguished Honor Student at The University Scholars Program at PA Leadership Charter School. She studies with Masao Kawasaki at The Juilliard Pre-College where she has served as Concertmaster of The Pre-College Orchestra. Carolyn has performed as soloist with Temple University Orchestra, The Ambler, Old York Road and Delaware County Symphonies, Philadelphia Orchestra Society, The Ocean City Pops, The Macau Youth Orchestra, as part of their 10th Anniversary celebration, and The Shanghai Philharmonic. Carolyn holds a Snitzer Advanced Studies Scholarship at Settlement Music School. As part of the Snitzer Quartet she has won a prize at The Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and subsequently appeared on “From The Top”. For the past 7 summers she has attended the Aspen Music Festival.