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Outstanding Young Artist Winners

Outstanding Young Artist Winners

Outstanding Young Artist 2018, First Place, Micaela Azzati, flute

Micaela Azzati

Micaela (Mica) Azzati has been playing the flute and studying it uninterruptedly with flutist and master teacher Robin Kani for nine years. A senior at Liberty High School she is first chair flute and piccolo and secretary of the prestigious 250-member Grenadier Band and Concert Band and is a member and first chair flute and piccolo of the Liberty Orchestra, 1st Company, Pit Orchestra and also participates in chorus. She has participated in the PMEA District and Regional Band festivals her junior and senior years and in PMEA orchestra festival her senior year. For the past three years she has been a member of the Young People’s Philharmonic.

Outside school and the Young People’s Philharmonic, Mica has performed in annual studio recitals, countless church appearances and the past three years as part of both the Chaconne Project and the Zimmerman House performances at the Bethlehem Bach Choir May Festival. During the past two summers she’s appeared more than a dozen times each summer at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival “On the Green” performances. Mica is also involved in the National Honors Society at Liberty High School and is a youth leader at her church both in church youth group and mission projects. She has been awarded the 2018 Walter A. Schrempel Music Scholarship offered by the Bethlehem Rotary Club and is the winner of the 2018 Friends of Music Outstanding Young Artist’s Competition. Hannah plans to attend college in the fall. It is her desire to be a music teacher. She hopes to glorify the Lord in her playing and she considers it an honor and a blessing to play for you today!

After graduation, Mica will be continuing her education at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in nursing and minoring in music performance and participating in both large and small ensembles.

Outstanding Young Artist 2018, Second Place, Madeleine Baker, clarinet

Madeleine Baker

Madeleine Baker, a freshman at Moravian College, has been playing the clarinet for 9 years. Growing up in Hackettstown, New Jersey, she experienced many playing opportunities. Following in the footsteps of her older sister, she picked up the clarinet in 5th grade, and has loved it ever since. Thanks to her middle school band director Mr. Freeman, she was introduced to the Hackettstown Marching Band and participated in it for 5 years, 2 of which she held the position of Clarinet section leader and Quartermaster. In High School, Madeleine became involved in the Hackettstown Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Clarinet Choir. She has also participated in the North Jersey Area Band Concert for 3 years. During the summer of 2016, she had the opportunity to tour Europe and perform with the American Music Abroad Concert Band.

She would like to thank her high school band directors Mr. Argenziano, Mr. Stepneski, and Mr. Zwarych for all of the opportunities she has had in high school. Her senior year, she discovered Moravian College through her piano teacher Mrs. Pomeroy, alumni from the school.

At Moravian, she is a music major with a double concentration in education and performance on clarinet. Madeleine studies with Clarinetist Deborah Andrus and is involved in the Moravian College Community Orchestra, the Moravian College Wind Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, and Woodwind Trio. She would like to thank her family, friends, and teachers who have helped her along the way. Madeleine would also like to give a special thanks to Eileen Wescoe, her accompanist, Dr. Andrus, and The Friends of Music for allowing her to perform today.

Outstanding Young Artist 2016, First Place, Hanna Miner, harp

Hanna Miner

Hannah Miner has been homeschooled her entire life and is currently a senior. Hannah’s musical endeavors started at age four when she began piano lessons. In the fourth grade, she took an interest in the harp and found her piano skills aided in interpreting the harp. At this point, she realized how much she enjoyed playing this angelic instrument. She currently studies harp under Andrea Wittchen and piano under Dr. Barbara Thompson. Hannah plays in the RTO orchestra as well as assists in conducting. She also teaches piano and harp lessons. She has performed for weddings, funerals, various charities, hospice, birthdays, the Emmaus Woman’s Chorale, Bethlehem Historic Society, Northampton County Naturalization Ceremonies as well as special music for various church events.

In addition to playing music, Hannah and her brother founded and run a small business raising organic, farm fresh poultry, eggs and beef. She enjoys reading, photography, personal finance, tennis, skiing and spending time with her family. Hannah plans to attend college in the fall. It is her desire to be a music teacher. She hopes to glorify the Lord in her playing and she considers it an honor and a blessing to play for you today!

Outstanding Young Artist 2016, Second Place, Shaumik Phadke, piano

Shaumik Phadke

Shaumik Phadke, a junior at Parkland High School, has studied piano with Darlene Ziegler for 2 years and Grace Mealey for over 8 years. Shaumik participates in National Piano Guild Auditions, the Dorothy Sutton Festival and the LVMTA AAA auditions and has consistently earned superior to superior plus. He won the Dr. Albert Hofammann Piano Scholarship in 2014 from the Allentown Music Club. In addition, he received an Honorary Mention in the 2015 MTNA state competition. With a scholarship from the American Guild of Organists, Shaumik is now enjoying organ lessons with Stephen Williams.

Shaumik is also an accomplished accompanist, and his experience in piano accompaniment includes accompanying the Parkland High School Concert Choir, solo performers (voice, violin, and alto saxophone) and vocal students at the studio of voice teacher Gail Grossman. Shaumik was the keyboardist for Parkland’s 2014 production of The Wizard Of Oz and the 2015 production of Into the Woods. He was selected for the District Chorus as a piano accompanist for three years in a row, and recently qualified for the Region V chorus. He also serves as an occasional accompanist/organist for special services at the Zion “Liberty Bell” Church.

Playing the piano, either solo or as an accompanist, has been a big part of Shaumik’s life. He plans to continue that in college by pursuing a double major in Piano Performance and Mathematics.

Outstanding Young Artist 2015, First Place, Peter Schaedler, clarinet

Peter Schaedlder

Peter Schaedler studies at Lehigh University where he is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Music with a concentration in clarinet performance. Dr. Deborah Andrus provides him private clarinet lessons. He also takes oboe lessons from David Diggs.

Originally from Ringwood, New Jersey, Peter has been playing clarinet for over 10 years, and has participated in ensembles such as the Teaneck Community Concert Band, the North Jersey Honors Area Band Wind Ensemble, and multiple pit orchestras. Currently, Peter is a member of various ensembles at Lehigh, including the symphonic band, Marching 97, clarinet choir, and wind ensemble, where he plays the Eb clarinet. Peter has been exposed to music throughout his life, from watching his father play bass guitar in blues bands to taking piano lessons when he was younger. In addition to clarinet, he also plays a variety of instruments from oboe and flute to rock drum set and electric guitar.

Outstanding Young Artist 2015, Second Place, Yuehao Liu, piano

Peter Schaedlder

Yuehao Liu, an Honor Roll Freshman, attends Allentown Central Catholic High School as an International student from Xiamen, China. While here, Bob Premecz and recently Martha Schrempel guide his piano studies.

His interest in music began with playing the violin as a child. Later he discovered his passion for piano and won several regional and provincial competitions, attaining Level 10 Certificate of Arts State Examination of China. In 2010, he participated in “100 Little Musicians” under direction of renowned pianist, Lang Lang.

He continued his music path in the USA and became a member of the Young Musicians of the Allentown Music Club. He recently won a superior rating in the NFMC Festivals Program for Piano Solo, Music Advance I, and also ranked excellent in the Music Theory 4.

Yuehao Liu has strong interest in classical music and prefers to play Chopin. He also has interest in Chinese music. Today you will hear him play the music from around the world, including his country.

Outstanding Young Artist 2014, First Place, Wayne Wei, piano

Wayne Wei

Wayne Wei, an exchange student from the city of Guangzhou in China, attends Central Catholic High School as a junior. While in China, he started studying the piano with Haochuan Li at the age of 6. During his childhood, he also learned Chinese traditional arts, such as calligraphy and er’hu, a kind of Chinese violin with two strings.

During his music tutelage in China, Wayne concentrated on learning traditional Western classical music solo piano works by Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and Strauss. While focusing on Chopin, he took part in the First Chopin Piano Playing Competition in Singapore 2011. He also studied Chinese piano music and played one of the most famous Chinese concertos called Yellow River for German people in Frankfurt Empire Hall as an exchange student when he was in 7th grade, an experience he claims was one of his best performances. Besides solo piano classical music, Wayne actively participated in other music activities at his Chinese school, playing music for the school choir as accompanist along with keyboardist for a school rock band.

After arriving in America on August 2013, he joined and performed for the Allentown Young Musician Club and weekly for the Saint Joseph the Worker 11:30 Contemporary Choir. He attended two recent master classes at Jacob’s Music Store with Awadagin Pratt and Simon Mulligan, with a half-hour one-on-one experience with Simon. His host father, Bob Premecz, currently guides his musical instruction and introduced him to American and Jazz music. Wayne is enthusiastically absorbing the American style of playing as you will hear today.

Besides music, he possesses athletic skills at basketball and table tennis. He participated in St. Francis CYO basketball.

Outstanding Young Artist 2014, Second Place, Kate Miksits, voice

Kate Miksits

Kate Miksits is currently a senior at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts and currently studies with David Macbeth. She also recently was accepted, and has committed to Westminster Choir College. Kate has always been interested in music and singing. She was part of the Holy Trinity Church Choir for years and mentored their Children’s Choir. Her sophomore year, she organized and performed at a benefit recital for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, in which she help raise $2,000.

She started her high school career at Parkland, but her junior year she transferred to the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, where she really found herself as an musician. She is currently part of the general Choir, and the Touring Choir.

Kate has been involved in PMEA’s District and Regional Choir for two years. This year she also advanced to PMEA’s All-State Choir. She is one of three Choral Scholars chosen to be part of the Bethlehem Bach Choir. She is currently employed at Trinity Episcopal church as a choral singer. Choral singing is a particular passion of hers, but she hopes to eventually become an opera singer.

Kate is very grateful to have been chosen as a winner of this competition, and she hopes you enjoy the show!

Outstanding Young Artist 2013, First Place, Devin Diaz, clarinet

Devin Diaz

Devin Diaz will be going into his sophomore year at Moravian College. He began playing the clarinet at the age of 11 and started private instructions his junior year of high school with Christine Caiazzo. Throughout his high school years, at Stroudsburg High School, he was an active member of the high school's pit orchestra, marching band, orchestra, band, choir, acapella group, percussion ensemble, and participated in many PMEA ensembles. As well as being an active musician in school, he performed in many of the groups in his the community. He was principle clarinetist of the Pocono Youth Orchestra for two years, played in the East Stroudsburg University Jazz Band, and played principle clarinetist in the pit orchestra for numerous Black Sheep Productions including "Ragtime", "Willy Wonka", "Wizard of Oz", "Tiny Tim", and "Cinderella". Some awards that Devin has received in high school include: The "Semper Fidelis Award" for musical excellence issued by the United States Marines Youth Foundation and the Marine Corps League, the Stroudsburg Music Department "Ralph S. Harrison Instrumental Award", and the Stroudsburg Music Department Award.

Currently, at Moravian College, Devin is a double major in Music Education and Music Performance with a concentration in classical clarinet. He studies classical clarinet with Dr. Deborah Andrus and jazz clarinet with Tony Gairo. He is also involved with several ensembles including Moravian's Choir, acapella group "Vocalis", Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Piano Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, and Woodwind Trio. Once Devin graduates Moravian College, he plans to obtain his masters in Orchestral and Choral conducting as well a masters in clarinet performance and plans to perform and teach. Devin says that his passion for clarinet is deep. It is an extension of his personality, experiences, and ultimately himself. When he plays, his goal is to not only deliver the audience with good music, but also to give them a sense of who he is and what message he is trying to convey. He says that music, for him, is the most beautiful art form. It has all of the same colors, textures, motifs, and messages/meanings as any other work of art, but the only difference is that music is passive.

Outstanding Young Artist 2013, Second Place, Alethea Khoo, piano

Alethea Khoo

Alethea Khoo is a senior at Emmaus High School in East Penn. She has studied piano with Darlene Ziegler since she was six-years-old. Attending concerts and recitals at a young age spurred Alethea on to perform for others. She just won the 2013 Past Presidents Scholarship Award ($1,000) from the Allentown Music Club and performed on their May 5, 2013 program. She has participated in Lehigh Valley Music Teacher’s Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival, Achievement Award Auditions, Hannah Young Play-a-thon, and Musikfest. She has also taken part in Pennsylvania Federation Music Club’s Junior Festivals and won first place in the Junior Composer Contest. This past summer, Alethea had the privilege of performing the piano solo part of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Municipal Band of Allentown for the city of Allentown and as part of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown Concert Series.

Alethea also plays the flute and has studied with Dr. Nora Suggs for five years. At the SATORI Student Chamber Music Competition, she won the composition competition with her piece Never More Shall Be written for flute and piano.

At Emmaus High School, Alethea plays the flute in the Symphonic Band, the piano in Esquires Jazz Ensemble, the keyboard in the pit orchestra for the musicals, and sings and accompanies in the Chorale and Women’s Choir. She auditioned and was placed in the PMEA District Band, County Band, District Chorus, Regional Chorus, Susquehanna University Honors Band, and Allentown Band Side-by-Side. At Faith Evangelical Free Church, Alethea serves in the music ministry, on the praise teams, and in the children’s musicals as the assistant voice coach.

Alethea will be attending Susquehanna University in the fall majoring in Piano Performance with flute as the secondary instrument. She hopes to share her love of music with others through performing and teaching.

Outstanding Young Artist 2012, Eric Dong, violin

Eric Dong

Sixie “Eric” Dong, 16, from Shanghai, China, started violin studies at the age of four and began playing the piano six years later. Eric received musical training on both instruments from four different professors at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His advancing skills earned Eric prizes in regional and provincial competitions in China. Besides being a soloist, Eric enjoys accompanying other groups. Eric helped three dance teams and two choirs win the first prizes in several municipal music competitions held in Shanghai.

Arriving 6 months ago as an international student, Eric attends Allentown Central Catholic High School as junior honor student. He will be residing with the Premecz family in Allentown for the next two years until he graduates. He plans on performing at the school’s Spring Concert.

Eric continues his music path in the USA by becoming an active artist member of the Young Musicians of the Allentown Music Club and also holds the office of Treasurer. The Allentown Music Club invited him to perform both as violinist and pianist for their All-American Favorites program on November 6, 2011. The club president personally invited Eric to perform at the Episcopal House during the holidays and again for the 84th Pennsylvania Federation of Music Club’s Convention in Myerstown.

Eric’s violin playing earned him 5th chair at Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District X Orchestra Festival and he will be participating in the Region IV/V Orchestra on March 24, 2012 in Williamsport and looks forward to performing again in State orchestra in Lancaster.

Eric takes an active part in doing community hours, which are all related to music. He performs in a few nursing houses both home and abroad. Eric serves as keyboard player of 11:30 Contemporary Ensemble at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Orefield.

Eric expects to spend his undergraduate years in New York University, and is now preparing for both applications on violin and piano summer programs, which will be held in NYU this July.

Eric favors strongly music of the mid- to late-Romantic Period. Eric will perform masterpieces composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin, and Claude Debussy on April 29th‘s recital in Wesley Church for The Friends of Music Outstanding Young Artist recital.

Outstanding Young Artist 2011, Ryan C. Pereira, clarinet

Ryan C. Pereira

Ryan C. Pereira is an Honors student at Pocono Mountain East High School where he is currently a junior. His clarinet studies began at age 9 and he currently studies with Mr. Sanford Kravette. He performs clarinet with the Young People's Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley and alto saxophone with the PMEHS Jazz Band and Marching Band.

Ryan has placed in the PMEA District Band for 3 years and the PMEA Region and All-State Bands for 2 years. Recently, he placed in the MENC All-Eastern Wind Ensemble and MENC All-National Concert Band. He also has Won the John Phillip Sousa Foundation's National Young Artists Solo Clarinet Competition.

The "Opera Is Instrumental" Workshop with the New York City Opera featured Ryan as Principal Clarinet. He plans to attend New England Conservatory, Juilliard, or Ithaca School of Music to continue studying clarinet performance.

Outstanding Young Artist 2011, Greg Gennaro, violin

Greg Gennaro

Greg Gennaro is 16 years old and currently attends Emmaus High School as a sophomore. He has played the violin for over ten years, and his teachers have included Linda L. Kistler, Davyd Booth and Kimberly Fisher, principal second violinist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has had the opportunity to attend both the Strings International Music Festival and the Heifetz International Music Institute where he worked with Daniel Heifetz. One of his loves is chamber music. He participates in Temple University's Music Preparatory program where he plays in the Youth Chamber Orchestra, led by Maestro Luis Biava, and in various string quartets. In the fall of 2010, Greg began to play with young classical guitarist Thomas Pfefer. The duo won the 2011 Satori competition. Greg has performed in several venues in Philadelphia and in his native Lehigh Valley.

Outstanding Young Artist 2010, Thomas Pfefer, classical guitar

Thomas Pfefer

Thomas Pfefer is fifth grader at Lehigh Valley Academy, Bethlehem. He started studying classical guitar at the age of six, at first with the Suzuki guitar teacher Carol Tileston and then, for the past two years, with John Arnold, the guitar instructor at Moravian College.

Playing an instrument was his mother's idea. Thomas guesses she thought that would be a good way to enrich his life and express himself. She let him choose between the violin and the guitar, two instruments that could be easily carried on planes during their summer trips to France, where his family is from. He picked the guitar that seemed to him very cool to play. As far as he remembers, Spanish music has always moved him. However, he was inspired to study classical guitar when he heard, at a recital, James Schultheis, one of John Arnold's students, play this beautiful piece composed by Francisco Tarrega, "Capricho Arabe". Since then, John Arnold has made him discover many other great composers, amazing pieces of music, and many famous guitarists. Thomas says Mr. Arnold encourages him to produce the best tone and phrasing that make a piece beautiful to hear. The more he studies classical guitar the more he likes it. Thomas would like to pursue a career in music.

Thomas also started learning to play the saxophone in school this year and is part of the school's band. He enjoys the band but the guitar is still his favorite instrument.

Outstanding Young Artist 2010, Sarah Biroth, saxophone

Sarah Biroth

Sarah Biroth was born in 1993 and has been playing the Saxophone since she is 11. As an exchange student from Germany she is attending her Junior Year of High School at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts in Bethlehem. Sarah plays the Saxophone in its Concert Band and Jazz Band. She also played in this years District Band and Jazz Band.

In 2006, Sarah performed in the largest competition for young musicians in Germany where she received second prize in the second round where young musicians from her region participated. In 2009, she performed again, and she got a second prize in the last round where people from all over Germany participated. As a result of this accomplishment she was qualified to participate in her region's TouthWindBand.

Also in 2009, Sarah decided to go to America for one year to experience a new culture. Of course, as a musician, she is very interested in the musical differences between Germany and America. Returning to Germany, she will finish High School and is planning attend college to study music.

Outstanding Young Artist 2009, Adam Stoltz, piano

Thomas Pfefer

Adam Stoltz is a senior at Liberty High School, Bethlehem. He has studied piano with Herbert E. Heffner since he was seven. This year he obtained his fourth Gold Cup in the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) auditions. Adam was twice a Gold Medalist in the Dorothy Sutton Festival piano competitions and he received a Plaque of Honor from the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association for achieving five consecutive superior ratings. He has performed several years for Bethlehem's Musikfest.

Adam is a member of the orchestra and band at Liberty High School where he plays first chair euphonium. He performed with the band in the 2009 Rose Bowl Parade. He was selected for District and All State Band during his senior year. A member of the National Honor Society, Adam consistently has been on the honor roll during his high school years. He was honored with the "silver cord" for community service. Adam will attend Temple University next year where he will major in piano performance and conducting.

Runner-Up,Outstanding Young Artist 2009, Taylor Aretz, piano

Sarah Biroth

Taylor Aretz, a senior at Parkland High School, South Whitehall Township, has studied piano for over twelve years with Darlene Ziegler of Allentown. She consistently has earned Superior or Superior Plus ratings in the local and state Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival, the LV-PMTA Achievement Award Auditions, Junior Festival and National Piano Guild Auditions, and has participated in various PMTA Recitals and Festivals. Last summer she attended Kinhaven Music School, Weston, VT, where she studied with Adrienne Kim and Mimi Solomon. She was a keyboardist for Parklands 2008 spring production of Les Miserables and pre-recorded electronic music for this year's production of Godspell. She sings in the Youth Choir at First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, and serves as occasional pianist for the Arabic language worship service.

Taylor plays viola in the Parkland High School Orchestra, Honors Orchestra and Serenata Strolling Strings, and is a member of the Young People's Philharmonic Orchestra of the Lehigh Valley. She is president of her school orchestra and a member of the National Honor Society. Taylor will attend Ithaca College next year to study piano performance in preparation for a career in music.

Outstanding Young Artist 2008, Miles Salerni, marimba

Thomas Pfefer

Miles Salerni is a senior at Liberty High School in Bethlehem. He studies percussion with Jonathan Haas, Greg Gianascoli, and Jeff Milarsky at the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School of Music. A member of the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra, Miles is also the principal percussionist of the Young People's Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley. Miles recently won the YPP's Concerto Competition and will be playing Paul Creston's Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra with them in April. In March, Miles played his solo graduation recital at Juilliard Pre-College, and on that program, premiered a duo for marimba and violin written by his father, Paul Salerni, for his violinist brother, Dominic and himself. (n.b., Dominic Salerni was the Outstanding Young Artist winner in 2003, making this the first time FoM has had two brothers win the Outstanding Young Artist Competition.)

During the summer, Miles studies percussion at the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. At Liberty High School, Miles has been a member of the band and orchestra and was the soloist in the world premiere of Walter Dworakivsky's Timpani Concerto with the Liberty High School orchestra last year. He is a member of the National Honor Society and played as a goalie on Liberty's Varsity Soccer Team for the last three years. Miles would love to spend his life as the timpanist in a symphony orchestra and is hoping to enroll at a music conservatory in the fall.

Runner-up, Outstanding Young Artist 2008, Abigail La Vecchia, piano

Abby LaVecchia

Abby LaVecchia has studied piano for ten years, and currently is coached by Barbara Tilden Thompson of Allentown, under whose tutelage she has consistently earned Superior Plus ratings in Piano Guild and AAA competitions. Her experience in piano accompaniment includes the BCMEA County Choir, the Pennridge High School Concert Choir, and the senior college recital of her sister, Christina. As a senior at Pennridge Abby participates in the high school's chamber choir and serves as the Concert Choir President. She also studies cello with Sarah Yoon of Doylestown and is in her second year as a member of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, where she recently won the concerto competition. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is active in the youth music ministry of St. Agnes RCC in Sellersville. Abby plans to pursue piano studies in education and performance in college next year.

Outstanding Young Artist 2007, Krizia Nelson, voice

Krizia Nelson

Krizia Nelson, a sophomore honors student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, has studied voice with John (Jack) R. Stevenson, DJD, Director of the Bethlehem Music Settlement in Bethlehem, PA. At Freedom, she is actively involved in the Patriot Choir, Concert Choir, and Les Chanteurs. Krizia has performed in numerous recitals at Moravian College, Kirkland Village, and United Methodist Church, all sponsored by Bethlehem Music Settlement. For the past four years, she has participated in many local and state festivals sponsored by Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Music Teachers' Association, where she has received Superior Plus ratings. She also has participated in the District 10 Chorus and the Regional 5 Chorus sponsored by Music Educators National Conference. Recently, Krizia participated with the New York City Opera Chorus and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Krizia's plans include college, with a major in Vocal Music Performance in preparation for a professional singing career. For her FOM recital, she sang songs of Vivaldi, Mozart, Viardot, Vicente Garcia, Faure, Paladihe, Bemberg, Hensel, Mendelssohn, and Kern.

Outstanding Young Artist 2007, Christine Shen, violin

Christine Shen

Christine Shen is a junior honors student at Central Bucks East High School in Doylestown. She began playing the violin in fourth grade and has studied with Linda Kistler for seven years. In school, Christine has been involved in orchestra, string ensemble, and pit orchestra. She was a member of the Junior String Philharmonic from 2001 to 2003 and was a winner of the 2003 concerto competition.

This is Christine's first year as a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. She is also currently associate concertmaster for the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County (YOBC), and she soloed with the YOBC as the winner of the 2007 Concerto Competition.

In the past three years, Christine has auditioned for the Orchestra Festivals of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). Last year she was chosen for the PMEA District XI and Region VI Orchestras and served as Principal Second in the All-State Orchestra. For her FOM recital, she played Telemann's Fantasie No.1 for solo violin in B-flat Major, Schubert's Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Minor, and two pieces by Lili Boulanger, the Nocturne for Violin and Piano and the Cortege for Violin and Piano.

Outstanding Young Artist 2006, Vivian Wang, piano

Vivian Wang

Vivian has studied piano since the age of 4, first with her grandmother and later with Yan Han Guang in New York. She has studied with Allan Birney for 5 years. Locally Vivian has performed for the Allentown Music Club and the Young Musicians Club of Allentown. She presented her first solo recital a year ago at Wesley Church. Vivian was interviewed by Jill Pasternak and recorded for broadcast at WRTI in Philadelphia in 2004. She attends Moravian Academy where she is a 7th grade honors student. The Baum School of Art awarded her a scholarship for her studies there. For the Friends of Music Concert, Miss Wang performed Prokofiev, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikowsky.

Outstanding Young Artist 2005, Jarred Antonacci, trombone

Jared is a senior from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA. He will present a recital, along with the winners of the small ensemble contest, The String Ensemble from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts, on Sunday May 1, 2005, at 4pm at Wesley United Methodist Church, 2540 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA. The concert is free and open to the public and will include music by Bach, Handel, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov and Leonard Bernstein.

Outstanding Young Artist 2004, Angela Sulzer, violin

Angela Sulzer won the 2004 Outstanding Young Artist Competition as a 16 year old junior at Parkland High School. She began playing the violin at age nine and has been studying privately with Inna Eyzerovich for over seven years. Angela is an active participant in high school orchestra ensembles, the Serenata Strolling Strings, and high school chorus. She was a member of Junior Strings and Young People's Philharmonic from 1997-2001. In 1998-2000, she attended the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, VT. Angela played in the Emerging Master's Recital Series at the Allentown Art Museum in 1999, 2000, and 2001. She has performed with the PMEA District, Region and All-State Orchestras since 2000. In 2003, Angela spent her summer in Greensboro, NC at the Eastern Music Festival school. She received third place in the Allentown Symphony Association's 2004 Voorhees Concerto Competition. She has performed in master classes with Irina Murescanu, Kurt Nikkanen, Daniel Kossov, The Ying Quartet, Corey Cerovsek, and Paul Chou. Angela frequently plays chamber music with her father, Alan, a guitarist, and brother Paul, a cellist. Upon graduation from high school, she plans on attending college as a violin performance major and pursuing a career in music.

Outstanding Young Artist 2003, Domenic Salerni, violin

Domenic Salerni

Domenic is a tenth-grader at Liberty High School, Bethlehem, Pa. In his own words: "... I began playing the violin at the age of three - starting violin lessons wasn't really my choice, but rather my parents. Because my Dad first learned music on an instrument where he didn't have to produce the sound or the pitch (the accordion), he wanted me to play an instrument where I would be responsible for the tone and the intonation. Since my Mom's sister is a Suzuki violin teacher, violin was the natural choice. But my Dad actually had another wish--that I learn to play the string bass. The solution was for me to start violin with the great Suzuki violin teacher Linda Fiore, and when I failed miserably at that, I would automatically switch to bass because by then I would have become totally enamored of Linda's wonderful bass-playing husband, Dominick Fiore (note the diabolical parental plot to name me after that Dominick). Anyway, it turned out that I was pretty good at the violin, and so Linda never let me come under Dominick's sway."

Domenic has performed with the Da Core Strings in Philadelphia, Reading, Chicago, and at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. He presently studies with Lee Snyder in Abington, PA. He is often featured on benefit recitals and concerts given by violinist Paul Chou and composer/pianist Paul Salerni, and has toured public schools in the Lehigh Valley with Chou, Salerni, and soprano Debra Field as part of their "Composer in Your Classroom" presentations. In February 1999, he performed as a soloist with the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra as a result of winning their Young People's Concerto Competition. He has played solo recitals for the Delaware Valley Music Club and the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem and benefit recitals for Hadassah of Bethlehem and the Soup Kitchen at Trinity Episcopal Church. He spent 1999-2000 in Italy where he played solo recitals in Bassano and Vicenza and performed as soloist and orchestra member with the Camerata Vicentina Musicale. He was the soloist for the Camerata's concert for the European Union's Conference on Human Rights in Venice. In Italy, he played soccer for Gruppo Sportivo San Paolo. Last season Domenic won first prize in the Voorhees competition for the Allentown Symphony and the junior division of the MacPhail competition at the Pottstown Symphony. He also won a Menges Scholarship from the Ambler Symphony. As a result of these competitions, he played as the soloist in Allentown's Side-by-Side concert in May and as a soloist with the Pottstown Symphony and the Ambler Symphony in February. Domenic also plays the baritone horn and the cornamusa (Italian bagpipes) and is a violinist in the Braverman Quartet, one of Settlement Music School's scholarship quartets.

Outstanding Young Artist 2002, Maria Emerson, piano

Maria Emerson, pianist, is a tenth grade student at Allentown Central Catholic High School. She started taking piano lessons in kindergarten, and has been studying with Dr. Debra Torok for ten years. In sixth grade, she began playing for St. Ann s Christmas and spring shows, including the production of Annie . She has been a member of the pit band for Central Catholic s productions of South Pacific and Pajama Game , and will play for Lil Abner this spring. She also accompanies the school chorus at Central Catholic. She has accompanied her brother in his violin recitals, and this winter accompanied two Voorhees Competition finalists. In the seventh grade, she became interested in the organ when she began playing for school masses. For the last three years, she has been taking lessons from Dr. Michael Krentz. Last spring, she won the American Guild of Organists competition. She also volunteers for one of the Sunday Masses at St. Ann's Church in Emmaus.

Outstanding Young Artist 2001, Kathryn Ogletree, flute

Kathryn Ogletree was born in the Dominican Republic in 1983. She was adopted at the age of 16 months by Mary Ogletree, and lives near Allentown, Pennsylvania with her mother. Katie was an honor student at Emmaus High School. Katie has studied flute since she was eight years old, first with Timothy Running at Kutztown University, and then with Robin Kani at Moravian College. She currently studies with Ms. Kani and with Bradley Garner at The Juilliard School PreCollege Division. At Juilliard she also studies music theory and solfege, and performs in both chamber music and the PreCollege Orchestra, which performed recently at Alice Tully Hall. In the summers of 1995 and 1996, Katie attended the Junior Session at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont. She returned there during the past three summers for Senior Sessions, studying chamber and orchestral music. In 1997 she participated in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts summer chamber music program in Milano Marittima. Italy. Katie has performed in a number of recitals and master classes at Moravian College, Kutztown University, and Lafayette College. In December of 1999 she won the Schuylkill Symphony s Young Artist Competition and performed the C.P.E. Bach d minor concerto with the orchestra. Katie presented a solo recital at the Juilliard School's Paul Hall on March 3, 2001.

Outstanding Young Artist 2000, Robert Gelber, violin

Robert Gelber, a resident of Allentown, PA, began his violin studies at the age of 4 at the Community Music School and studied there most recently with Linda Kistler. He attended Parkland High School, where he was concert master of the orchestra and leader of the Strolling Strings and the String Ensemble. He has performed with the District 10 Orchestra, where he was principal 2nd violin, the Region V and All-State Orchestras, the Young People's Philharmonic, the Manhattan of School of Music Prep Division Philharmonic, and the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also played in several pit orchestras in the area. He won the Schadt String Scholarship in 1997-98, and the Allentown Music Club Strings Award in 2000. He was also a member of the CMS Select String Quartet, which won the Friends of Music Small Ensembles Competition in 1997. He is currently attending the Music Conservatory at the State University of New York at Purchase. He hopes to receive a doctorate degree in violin performance and to teach and to perform on a regular basis.

Outstanding Young Artist 2000, Robert Gelber, violin

Outstanding Young Artist 1999, Christopher Nichols, clarinet

Outstanding Young Artist 1998, Bethany Heller, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1997, Blake Hoppes, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1996, Jeffrey Wohlbach, trumpet

Outstanding Young Artist 1995, Courtney Yelovich, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1993, Elizabeth Detweiler, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1992, Vivien Lee, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1991, Rebecca Kleintop Owens, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1990, Andrew Gaydos, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1989, Drew Nielson, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1988, Sarah Brown Henry, violin

Outstanding Young Artist 1988, Judith Polinchock, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1987, David Mitchell, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1987, Fausto Pineda, III, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1986, Colin Benert, violin

Outstanding Young Artist 1986, Conrad Chu, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1985, Patricia Risley, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1984, Rebecca Martin, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1984, Elizabeth Silon DeLaBarre, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1982, Barbara Manson Jones, violin

Outstanding Young Artist 1982, Christopher Robertson, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1981, Cynthia Boltz Coutsouros, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1980, Michael Klein, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1979, Judy Ann Jones Curtis, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1978, Paul Kumagai, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1977, Sherri Rottersman, guitar

Outstanding Young Artist 1976, Stacie Comstock, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1976, Margery Daley, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1974, Elizabeth Armstrong, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1974, David Hertzog, cello

Outstanding Young Artist 1974, Kathleen Martin Anthony, voice

Outstanding Young Artist 1974, Dale McKinley, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1973, Diane Schleicher

Outstanding Young Artist 1973, Mary Yackanicz, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1972, David Heinlick, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1972, Linda Kistler, violin

Outstanding Young Artist 1971, Sharon Kaplan, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1970, Nancy Bargerstock, violin

Outstanding Young Artist 1970, Susan Yackanicz Stafura, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1969, Lydia Stone, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1967, Gary Steigerwalt, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1966, Martha Schrempel, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1966, Gretchen Wescoe Sorensen, flute

Outstanding Young Artist 1965, Teresa Compos-Falk, piano

Outstanding Young Artist 1963, Carol Gress Bauer, voice