2013 – 2014
Congratulations to all our students!
Andrew Barnwell, student of Dainius Valcekonis was the winner of Division D (Ages 16-18 yrs) in the 2014 Chopin NW Festival, February 1, 2014. Current students, Mina Esary and Bryan Zhao received honorable mentions in their respective divisions. http://www.chopinnw.org/details.html
Mina Esary, Aidan Gold & Pierre Suignard, students of Eric Flesher were selected to participate in The 2014 Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop, and have their compositions premiered by the Seattle Symphony Musicians this spring.
Alexandra Johnson, student of Nancy Zylstra, has won the preliminary round held at the Cornish College of the Arts in the High School Classical division of the 2014 Classical Singers Competition. She goes on to San Antonio,Texas in May to compete in the second round of competition. She been named the Queen City Musicians’ Young Artist for the 2013-14 Season and will be performing in the opera Acteon with them in May. http://www.queencitymusicians.com/
Alexandra is a member of the Cathedral Choir and Jubilate! young women’s ensemble at St. James Cathedral in Seattle where she is also a psalmist and cantor. Alexandra has won numerous awards for solo vocal performance and ensemble performance in such festivals as the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside in Bellevue and Musicfest Northwest in Spokane. She has also performed as a soloist with Opus 7, a professional ensemble in Seattle.
Takumi Taguchi, 12 year old violinist, student of Simon James, Jan Coleman, and Hiro David, is the co-winner of the 2013-14 Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and on March 2, 2014, will be playing the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Bellevue Youth Symphony – Philharmonia. In 2013, he won the Music of Remembrance’s Tonkonogui Memorial Award, and first prize in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition with an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall. In Tokyo, March 2013, Takumi made an outstanding concerto debut with the Suzuki World Convention Commemorative Orchestra..
2012 – 2013
Congratulations to First Prize Winners of the 2013 Seattle International Piano Contemporary & Impressionistic Festival: Lara Lewison (Russian School), Alexandra and Matthew Johnson (Chamber Division).
Congratulations to the following academy current and former students, first place winners and honorable mention recipients of the 2013 Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside (PAFE):
Mina Esary, piano, solo
Bhavani Kotha, piano and oboe, ensemble and solo
Takumi Taguchi, violin, concerto
Mira Yamamoto, violin, concerto and solo
Charlene Chin, harp, best in division
Alexandra Johnson, voice, ensemble
Mary Elizabeth Adler, voice, ensemble and solo
Lara Lewison, voice, solo
Mina Esary, Pierre Suignard and alumnus Cole Holland, students of Eric Flesher were selected to participate in The 2013 Merriman family Young Composers Workshop to work with Dr. Samuel Jones and have their compositions premiered by the Seattle Symphony Musicians on April 30th at 7:30 pm at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall.
More awards, honors and scholarships:
Mary Elizabeth Adler, student of Nancy Zylstra, won first place and a gold medal in three voice categories: solo, ensemble and 17th and 18th century Italian at Spokane’s Musicfest May, 2013. She was also asked to sing on KPBX in Spokane. She has also auditioned and sung in four Seattle Opera productions to date — CARMEN, LA BOHEME, TURANDOT and SUOR ANGELICA.
Charlene Chin, attends the BYSO (Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra), has been performing in the Masterwork piece series Concert in BYSO seasonally. She will give a harp recital in Taipei Bach Recital Hall in Taipei, Taiwan on August 17, 2013.
Charlene is the winner of the Harp division for the 2013 PAFE (Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside), and performed in the PAFE recognition concert at Saint Andrews Lutheran Church on April 13, 2013. She is also the 2nd place winner of the Harp division at WMEA (Washington Music Education Association) and the 2013 State Solo and Ensemble Contest.
Mina Esary, piano student of Willard Schultz, received the Gold Seal at the 2013 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival in addition to receiving the Honorable Mention at 2013 Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside and participating in the Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop.
Matthew and Alexandra Johnson won first place in the chamber music division (ages 14-18) playing piano for four hands in the 2013 Seattle International Piano Contemporary & Impressionistic Festival. They both study piano with Dr. Peter Mackand organ with Joseph Adam. Allie also studies voice with Nancy Zylstra. Matthew and Allie were recently invited by Dr. James Savage to become choristers of the St. James Cathedral Choir. They are the youngest members of the choir. Matthew is also the resident youth organist at the cathedral and Allie is a cantor. In addition, Allie sings occasionally at Taize which is an ecumenical prayer service at the cathedral on Friday evenings.
Lara Lewison, violin student of Sanja Futterman, has been awarded the Emerson Scholarship to attend the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Program this summer. The Six-Week Advanced String Quartet Program provides intensive quartet training to students in grades 9-12.
Lara is also the First Prize Winner of the 2013 Seattle International Piano Contemporary & Impressionistic Festival.
Lara studies piano with Joan Shoepflin and voice with Madeline B. Bersamina.
Takumi Taguchi, student of Mihoko Hirata and Simon James, has been chosen as the First Place Winner of the 2013 American Protégé International Concerto Competition. He is invited to perform in The Winner’s Recital at the Weill Recital Hall – Carnegie Hall next Fall. In March, Takumi made an outstanding concerto debut with The 16th Suzuki Method World Convention Commemorative Orchestra in Matsumoto, Japan. He is also the winner of Music Of Remembrance’s 2013 David Tonkonogui Memorial Award. This summer Takumi will attend a four-week Indiana University Summer String Academy on a merit scholarship.
Bryan Zhao, student of Willard Schultz, was awarded First Place for his age group in the 2013 Simon Fiset competition. He was also awarded the alternate winner in the 2013 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition.
2011 – 2012
Every year, The Merriman family Young Composers Workshop selects ten extraordinary young composers to have their compositions premiered by a group of Seattle Symphony Musicians. This year, Cole Holland, Brendan McMullen andPierre Suignard, all students of Academy composition teacher, Erich Flesher were selected. You can hear their works on May 1 at 7:30 pm, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall.
Oboe and piano student Bhavani Kotha, student of Tad Margelli and Michi North, participated in the Northlake Regional Solo and Ensemble contest, and won the oboe solo and piano solo categories. She will be competing at the State contest on April 28th in Ellensburg. Bhavani also placed second in the Eastside Scholarship Piano Competition.This summer Bhavani will participate in the Summer Piano Institute at University of Washington.
Brendan McMullen, clarinet, student of Mary Kantor, performed in New York City with the Roosevelt Symphony Orchestra in March. He won the Elliot Bay Solo and Ensemble Contest with his Octet, The Eight Flavors of Schubert, and will be competing in the state solo and ensemble contest in late April. His Wind Quintet will be performed by Seattle Symphony musicians as part of the Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra on May 1st at 7:30 at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall.
David Siebert, piano student of Sasha Starcevich, took first place in the Eastside Scholarship Competition and their concerto competition. This summer David will be attending the Music Fest Perugia in in Italy.
Bryan Zhao, student of Willard Schultz, was awarded the Gold Seal for Outstanding Performance in both Complete Program and Concerto Division, and was chosen for Concerto Playoffs in the SYAMF. In the Russian Festival, he was awarded the second prize. Bryan has also received Honorable Mention in the Chopin Festival, Simon-Fiset, and in the PAFE’s Concerto and Piano Solo divisions.
An accomplished composer, Bryan’s composition “Spirit of the Leprechaun” for Solo Piano has won several awards:
First Place at the National Federation of Music Club Junior Composer Contest and WSMTA Young Composer Project, and was chosen to perform in the WSMTA convention on June 19th; Third place in the 2011-2012 National PTA Reflection Arts Programs. One of the finalists in the International Composition Contest with a high rating of ‘Superior +’, Bryan will be recognized in the Summer issue of “Piano Guild Notes”.
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