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2011-2012 MTNA National Competition: winners.


Elementary Composition

Sponsored by Morty and Iris Manus

Winner: Daniel Cho, East Central Division (Michigan); Pam Peng Chen, teacher

Daniel Cho has loved composing since age 4, and he has been studying piano and violin since age 5. His compositions earned several awards including the national finalist in the 2010-2011 Music Teachers National Association Composition Competition and the first place in the 2011 Pikes Peak Young Composers competition. Daniel loves to share his music and connect people, and he has performed several concerts in the community.

Second Place: Nathan Chu, Southwest Division (California); Su-Shing Chiu, teacher

Third Place: Jake Lee, Northwest Division (Washington); Sharon Van Valin, NCTM, teacher

Junior Composition

Sponsored by Morty and Iris Manus

Winner: Chung Hon Michael Cheng, South Central Division (Texas); Ann Witherspoon, teacher

Chung Hon Michael Cheng is a freshman at Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas. Born in Hong Kong, he has played piano since age 4 and composed since age 6. He owes his musical accomplishments much to Ann Witherspoon, Nancy Chin and Cindy Tan. In 2008, he passed the ABRSM Grade 8 Piano Exam with distinction and in 2011, passed the Grade 8 Theory Exam with perfect score. Michael has won numerous awards as a pianist.

Second Place: Calvin Lu, East Division (New Jersey); Felicia Ruffman, teacher

Third Place: Nicholas Wu, Southwest Division (California); Su-Shing Chiu, teacher

Senior Composition

Sponsored by Hal Leonard Corporation

Winner: Jonas Tarm, East Central Division (Illinois); Matt Hagle, teacher

Jonas Tarm, of Highland Park, Illinois, attends the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy program, studying composition with Matthew Hagle and violin with Gerardo Ribeiro. Jonas's compositions have also won first place in other contests, including MIC's Generation Next and the Illinois Music Educators Association. Also an accomplished violinist, the Estonian-born Jonas, 18, has attended various summer festivals, including Meadowmount School of Music. His violin playing and compositions have been featured on Chicago's classical music radio station, WFMT.

Second Place: Anthony Constantino, Southwest Division (Arizona); Kim Hayashi, teacher

Third Place: Benjamin Davis, Northwest Division (Washington); Sharon Van Valin, NCTM, teacher

Young Artist Composition


Winner: Ben Murphy, Northwest Division (Montana); Lee Heuermann, teacher

Ben Murphy is a composer and performer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, currently living in Missoula, Montana, where he studies at the University of Montana. His music has been performed in the United States and Europe at such events as the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) National Conference, Mountain Computer Music Festival, International Computer Music Conference and soundSCAPE International Composition and Performance Exchange in Maccagno, Italy.

Second Place: Kenji Kuriyama, East Central Division (Indiana); Don Freund, teacher

Third Place: Elizabeth Kowalski, Southern Division (North Carolina); James B. Douglass, teacher


MTNA Junior Piano Competition

Sponsored by Kawai America

Winner: Katrina Jia, Southwest Division (Arizona); Fei Xu, teacher

Katrina Jia, 11, is a sixth-grade student at Santan Elementary in Chandler, Arizona. She studies piano with Fei Xu. She had been the first-prize winner of several piano competitions, including 2008 Arizona Youth Piano Competition, 2008 and 2011 Arizona Young Artist Piano Competition, the Gold Medalist of the 2008 Arizona Youth Piano Competition, 2009 WPPC Most Wanted Piano Competition and special award for the most outstanding Mozart concerto performance from 2011 Arizona Young Artist Piano Competition.

Second Place: Ryan Jannak-Huang, East Central Division (Illinois); Brenda Huang, teacher

Third Place: Patrick Pan, South Central Division (Texas); Josh Weems, teacher

MTNA Junior String Competition

Sponsored by Yamaha Corporation of America, Orchestral Strings Department

Winner: Jeremy Tai, Southwest Division (California); Jonathan Koh, teacher

Jeremy Tai is a student in the prep department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Jeremy made his concerto debut with University of California-Davis in Symphony Orchestra at age 13, as a result of being the grand prize winner of Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition. Other awards include first place at MTAC and CMTANC competitions and second place from Pacific Musical Society. At age 10, Jeremy was chosen to perform the entire Bach Cello Suite No. 3 at the Junior Bach Festival in Berkeley, California.

Second Place: Cameron Lugo, Southern Division (South Carolina); Thomas Joiner, teacher Third Place: Sung Moon Park, East Central Division (Indiana); Susan Moses, teacher

MTNA Junior Woodwind Competition


Winner: Emma Resmini, Southern Division (Virginia); Alice Weinreb, teacher

Emma Resmini, 11, has soloed with the Dallas Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and McLean Orchestra. Emma was featured on National Public Radio's From the Top and was an invited soloist at the 2011 and 2009 National Flute Association Conventions. Her classical flute videos have more than 1.5 million views on Emma is a National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellow and a long-time student of NSO flutist Alice Kogan Weinreb.

Second Place: Elise Kim, Northwest Division (Washington); Bonnie Blanchard, NCTM, teacher

Third Place: Tiffany Chang, Southwest Division (California); Esther Landau, teacher


MTNA Senior Brass Competition


Winner: Grant Jameson, East Central Division (Ohio); David Zerkel, teacher

Grant Jameson is a 17-year-old euphonium player from Dublin, Ohio. His accomplishments include selection as a 2011 Yamaha Young Performing Artist, 2011 Interlochen Arts Camp Concerto Competition winner, 2011 North American Brass Band Association Solo Competition Champion, 2012 U.S. Marine Band Concerto Competition Finalist and a NFFAA 2012 Young Arts Finalist. In March 2012, Grant will be featured on NPR's From the Top. Grant aspires to travel as a soloist and ambassador of the euphonium.

Second Place: Ed Gunther, Southern Division (North Carolina); Timothy Altman, teacher

Third Place: Daniel Hawkins, South Central Division (Texas); Charles Gavin, teacher

MTNA Senior Piano Competition

Sponsored by Yamaha Corporation of America, Piano Division

Winner: Yijia Wang, Eastern Division (New York); Victoria Mushkatkol, teacher

Yijia Wang began her piano studies at age 6. In 2004, she was enrolled into the Music Middle School Affiliated To Shanghai Conservatory and studied under Xie Jia. Since 2011, Yijia has studied at the Juilliard School Pre-College with Victoria Mushkatkol. In 2006, Yijia won the Second Prize of the Fifth International Frederick Chopin Competition For Young Pianists and the Prize for youngest. She also won the 4th prize of the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in 2008.

Second Place: Jiyuan Grace Zhang, East Central Division (Michigan); Thomas Lymenstull, teacher

Third Place: Chelsea Wang, West Central Division (Iowa); Ksenia Nosikova, teacher

MTNA Senior Duet Competition

Sponsored by Dallas Weekley and Nancy Arganbright

Winner: Antonia Stabile/Niki Hua, Eastern Division (District of Columbia); Nancy Breth, teacher

Antonia Stabile is a 17-year-old senior from Oakton, Virginia. She has studied piano with Nancy O'Neill Breth for six years. In 2011, Antonia was a first-place winner in the WMTA Margaret Frank Specialty Competition and the Lions Club Music Competition, and a winner in the VMTA District Auditions and the NVMTA Achievement Awards. Antonia attended both the Tanglewood Institute Piano Program and International Institute for Young Musicians. She will attend Georgetown University.

Niki Hua, 18, is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She has been studying piano for 11 years with Nancy O'Neill Breth. Niki has won several solo competitions in the Washington, D.C., area and performed at the Hungarian Embassy and George Mason University's Center for the Arts. She has also attended the Eastern Music Festival and the Virginia Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts.

Second Place: Millicent Thomas McFall/Toni Liu McFall, Northwest Division, (Washington); Peter Mack, NCTM, teacher

Third Place: Iris Jang/Brook Zhang, East Central Division (Ohio); Nina Polonsky, teacher

MTNA Senior String Competition


Winner: Brian Hong, Southern Division (Virginia); June Huang, teacher

Brian Hong, age 18, is a senior at Robinson Secondary School. He began violin studies at age 4 and is currently concertmaster of the American Youth Philharmonic. Last summer he attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the attended the Music Academy of the West in 2009. Hong's teachers include June Huang and Sergiu Schwartz; previous mentors include Kimberly Fisher, Zvi Zeitlin and Shmuel Ashkenasi.

Second Place: Emily Camras, East Central Division (Illinois); Tanya Carey, teacher

Third Place: Nicole Oswald, Northwest Division (Idaho); Craig Purdy, teacher

MTNA Senior Voice Competition

Sponsored by the MTNA FOUNDATION FUND; Supported by Jane Snow

Winner: Emily Pogorelc, East Central Division (Wisconsin); Helen Ceci, teacher

Emily Pogorelc is a 15-year-old sophomore at Whitefish Bay High School. She has been studying voice with Helen Ceci for seven years. Emily is a veteran of many theatrical productions around the Milwaukee area and has worked with many local groups including the Skylight Theater, Florentine Opera, First Stage Theater and Acacia Theatre. She was most recently seen in Skylight's production of The Music Man. Emily plans to study classical voice in college.

Second Place: Aaron G. Bigeleisen, Eastern Division (New York); Robert Swensen, teacher

Third Place: Malcolm Payne Jr., South Central Division (Arkansas); Shawn McCracken, teacher

MTNA Senior Woodwind Competition


Winner: Catherine Winters, Southwest Division (Utah); Elizabeth Weissman, teacher

Catherine Winters has soloed twice with the Utah Symphony and also with the Utah Valley and American Fork Symphonies. She has won first places in the Utah State Fair, UMTA Concerto and the UFA sonata and concerto competitions. In 2009, Catherine won first place in the National MTNA Junior Woodwind Performance Competition held in Atlanta, Georgia. Last year, she won the state and national Stillman-Kelly competitions sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs.

Second Place: Jordan Lulloff, East Central Division (Michigan); Joseph Lulloff, teacher

Third Place: Gwang-Yee Jessica Hu, Eastern Division (New Jersey); Joseph Lu, teacher


MTNA Young Artist Brass Competition


Winner: David McLemore, Southern Division (Georgia); David Zerkel, teacher

David McLemore, a native of Western Washington, is an aspiring tubist and musician. David holds a bachelor's degree in tuba performance from the University of Southern California, a master's degree from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a doctorate in music from the University of Georgia. David's primary teachers include his current teacher at UGA, David Zerkel, as well as Fritz Kaenzig, Jim Self, Norman Pearson and Warren Deck.

Second Place: Bradley Caliva, South Central Division (Texas); Kevin Wass, teacher

Third Place: Michael Cooper, West Central Division (Kansas); Paul Stevens, teacher

MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition

Sponsored by Steinway & Sons

Winner: Yi-Yang Chen, Eastern Division (New York); Douglas Humpherys, teacher

Yi-Yang Chen, 21, attends the Eastman School of Music, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree with Douglas Humpherys. Yi-Yang has been awarded numerous honors including first place both in Canada's 2011 Pacific International Piano Competition and at the prestigious Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition. He received second place in the 2010 Schmidbauer International Piano Competition. As a freshman, he was selected to attend the Taos School of Music's summer chamber music programs.

Second Place: Jeannette Fang, East Central Division (Michigan); Logan Skelton, teacher

Third Place: Mikhail Berestnev, South Central Division (Texas); Tamas Ungar, teacher

MTNA Young Artist String Competition


Winner: Caroline Cox, Southern Division (North Carolina); Ara Gregorian, teacher

Caroline Cox is a senior at East Carolina University, where she is a double performance major in violin and piano, studying violin with Ara Gregorian and piano with Keiko Sekino. Caroline served as concertmaster of the ECU Symphony for three years and has performed alongside such artists as Robert McDonald in the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival at ECU. In 2011, she was chosen to perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Raleigh and Durham Symphonies.

Second Place: Mosa Tsay, Southwest Division (California); Jonathan Koh, teacher

Third Place: Gilson Filho, South Central Division (Louisiana); James Alexander, teacher

MTNA Young Artist Voice Competition

Sponsored by the MTNA FOUNDATION FUND; Supported by Jane Snow

Winner: Trey Smagur, Southern Division (Georgia); Yuell "Chuck" Chandler, teacher

Trey Smagur is a senior vocal performance major at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. Trey is active in Opera Theater at Shorter. He has played such roles as Tamino and The Witch in Hansel and Gretel. This is Trey's first national competition.

Second Place: Molly Bock Oliver, East Central Division (Indiana); Samuel Savage, teacher

Third Place: Bille Bruley, South Central Division (Texas); Robert Best, teacher

MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Competition


Winner: Nathan B. Bogert, West Central Division (Iowa); Kenneth Tse, teacher

Nathan Bogert has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Thailand both as a soloist and with various ensembles. He has performed in prestigious venues ranging from the Chautauqua Institute in New York to the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall at the Universite Concordia-Loyola in Montreal, Quebec.

Second Place: Matthew Evans, Eastern Division (New York); Chien-Kwan Lin, teacher

Third Place: Jonathan Wintringham, Southwest Division (Arizona); Timothy McAIlister, teacher


MTNA Chamber Music String Competition Sponsored by the Allen I. McHose Scholarship Fund

Winner: Anasazi String Quartet, East Central Division (Illinois); Brandon Vamos, teacher

The Anasazi String Quartet, praised by audiences for their passionate and engaging performances, has been playing together since the fall of 2009. Founded at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the quartet pursued studies with the school's string faculty: Lina Bahn, Judith Glyde, Erika Eckert and the Takacs Quartet. Currently, the quartet is the Graduate Quartet in Residence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where they study with the Pacifica Quartet. The members are: Veronica Pigeon, violin; Amanda Ramey, violin; Kelly Moore, viola; and Samuel Araya, cello.

Second Place: Trio Mundana, Northwest Division (Washington); Carrie Rehkopf, teacher

Third Place: Avalon Trio, Southern Division (Tennessee); Jerome Reed, teacher

MTNA Chamber Music Wind Competition

Sponsored by the Allen I. McHose Scholarship Fund

Winner: Cerulean Saxophone Quartet, East Central Division (Illinois); Debra Richtmeyer, teacher

The Cerulean Saxophone Quartet, formed in 2011, with Phil Pierick, soprano saxophone; Benjamin Kenis, alto saxophone; Drew Whiting, tenor saxophone; and Jesse Dochnahl, baritone saxophone bring together decades of collective chamber music experience. All members are current graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the guidance of Debra Richtmeyer. Members of CSQ have previously been prize winners or finalists in the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music National Competition, North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition and the Plowman Chamber Music Competition.

Second Place: Trikaya, Southwest Division (Arizona); Timothy McAllister, teacher

Third Place: Puget Sound Quartet, Northwest Division (Washington); Fred Winkler, teacher


Please note: Some tables or figures were omitted from this article.
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Title Annotation:COMPETITION WINNERS; Music Teachers National Association
Publication:American Music Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2012
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