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RPL Announces Young Artist Auditions Winners

March 18, 2014

PDF Click here to download PDF

For Immediate Release:  March 17, 2014
Media Contact:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO, twitter.com/SuperRPO, rpo-land.blogspot.com
RPL Info:  rpo.org/yaa

RPL ANNOUNCES YOUNG ARTIST AUDITIONS WINNERS
42 area teens competed Sunday for $4,500 in cash & scholarships
Special Award Winner David Steinhardt wins opportunity to perform with the RPO


Rochester, NY – Founded in 1929 to support the education and outreach programs of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), the Rochester Philharmonic League (RPL) has held and funded its annual Young Artist Auditions for high school musicians since 1955. This year’s competition, held at Eastman School of Music on Sunday, March 16, saw 42 talented 10th, 11th and 12th graders from nine counties compete for a total of $4,500 in cash awards and scholarships.

Five cash awards of $500 were offered for male vocalist, female vocalist, strings, piano and instrumental (woodwind, brass, percussion, harp or guitar). Two $1,000 scholarships were also offered for high school seniors who plan to major in music at an accredited college or university in the 2015–16 academic year. A Special Award winner, chosen during a separate audition of the first-place winners in the five categories, has the opportunity to audition for a performance with the RPO at a later date.

Here are this year’s winners (name, instrument, school, grade, private teacher, and hometown):

Helen and George Greer Instrumental Award ($500)
Winner:  David Steinhardt, Guitar, Pittsford Mendon High School, Grade 11, Peter Kodzas, Pittsford
Runner-up:  Melanie Mashner, Harp, Brighton High School, Grade 12, Grace Wong, Brighton
Honorable Mentions: Philip Glick, Trombone, Victor Senior High School, Grade 12, Mark Kellogg, Victor; Michelle Maginn, Clarinet, Livonia Central School, Grade 12, Andrew Lawton, Conesus

Mildred and Julius Ness Award for Pianists ($500)

Winner:  Jason Gan, Piano, The Harley School, Grade 12, Elier Suarez, Pittsford
Runner-up:  Helen Wong, Piano, Webster Schroeder High School, Grade 11, Patricia Hanson, Webster

Ruth and Sidney Salzman Award for Strings ($500)
Winner:  Annie Jacobs-Perkins, Cello, Pittsford Mendon High School, Grade 12, Kathleen Kemp, Pittsford
Runner-up:  Teagan Faran, Violin, Williamsville East High School, Grade 12, Thomas Halpin, East Amherst

Nobel Hirsh Award for Male Vocalists ($500)
Winner:  Anders Namestnik, Tenor, Canandaigua Academy, Grade 12, Riki Connaughton, Canandaigua
Runner-up:  Paul Fasy, Baritone, Greece Arcadia High School, Grade 11, Judith Ranaletta, Rochester (Greece)
Honorable Mention: Joe Gutberlet, Baritone, Churchville Chili High School, Grade 11, Steve Cortese, North Chili

Tessa Martin Award for Female Vocalists ($500)
Winner:  Samantha Martin, Soprano, Penfield High School, Grade 12, Kathryn Cowdrick Swenson, Fairport
Runner-up:  Hannah Jackel-Dewhurst, Soprano, Brighton High School, Grade 12, Susanna Adams, Brighton
Honorable Mentions:  Lydia Brown, Soprano, The Harley School, Grade 11, Susanna Adams, Brighton; Melanie McBride, Soprano, Wayne Central High School, Susanna Adams, Macedon

Aldridge-Tinker Scholarship for Instrumentalists ($1000 to a senior who plans to major in music in college)
Winner:  Annie Jacobs-Perkins, Cello, Pittsford Mendon High School, Grade 12, Kathleen Kemp, Pittsford

Jan DeGaetani Scholarship for Vocalists ($1000 to a senior who plans to major in music in college)
Winner:  Anders Namestnik, Tenor, Canandaigua Academy, Grade 12, Riki Connaughton, Canandaigua

Special Award (an opportunity to audition to perform with the RPO)
Winner:  David Steinhardt, Guitar, Pittsford Mendon High School, Grade 11, Peter Kodzas, Pittsford

“Many of this competition’s winners have gone on to highly successful careers as performers, music educators, and professionals in other music-related fields,” says RPL President Carol Shulman. “We’re very proud to support our area’s young people in their musical pursuits.”

“We are so grateful to the members of the RPL, who continue to support some of the orchestra’s most important initiatives – those involving the education of our children,” says RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. “We’re also happy to be able to offer the opportunities for talented young musicians to perform with this world-class orchestra.”

All award and scholarship winners are also invited to perform in a free, public recital in Kilbourn Hall during the summer. This year’s Young Artists in Concert - A Celebration of Winners is scheduled for Sunday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The Rochester Philharmonic League (RPL) was founded in 1929 as a volunteer support group for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.  For more than 80 years, the two organizations have collaborated to further their common goal of providing great music and music education in the greater Rochester community. The League’s current activities focus on educating young people about music and the RPO, and on fostering the advancement of music talent in the community’s youth. 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents up to 150 concerts a year, serving nearly 200,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Notable former music directors include Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman; Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches 14,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children. The RPO's 2013-14 season highlights include Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik's 20th anniversary celebration, and a performance at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2014, as part of the Spring For Music festival.

Media please note:  Images of all 2014 YAA winners are available at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8FkJzlaIpThbHVjVjVhNnJ5Y3M&usp=sharing, and photo, footage and interview opportunities can be arranged. Find out more at rpo.org/RPL.

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