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Winners of the 2011 Musical Club of Hartford Scholarship Competition

The first, second and third place winners performed in concert on Sunday, January 23, 2011, at 2 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford.

Click on the following to find names and brief biographies of the winners

piano - vocal - strings - winds

Piano Competition Winners

First Place, Piano

First Place in the Piano Division was awarded to Nicholas Goldbach of Woodbury, CT, a senior at Chase Collegiate School. He is a student of Anne Kan at the Hartt School of Music. This past summer, Nicholas attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and studied piano under the direction of Professors Boaz Sharon, Gila Goldstein, and Clara Shin. He won second place in the Audrey Thayer Piano Competition in 2010. He has also performed in the Winners Recital for Hartt Honors Competition in 2010. At the concert on January 23, Nicholas will perform Scherzo, Op. 39, No. 3, by Frederic Chopin.

Second Place Piano

Second Place in the Piano Competition was won by Mingji Chen, a freshman at Glastonbury High School. Mingji has studied piano for six years, currently studying with Dr. Paul Rutman at the University of Hartford. He won the Hartt School 2010 audition Best Performance Award. He was a finalist in the HSO competition in 2010. At the concert on January 23, he will perpform Prelude and Fugue in D Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, by J.S.Bach.

Third Place, Piano

Darien High School sophomore Sean Lee won Third Prize in the Piano Division. A piano student of Svitlana Fiorito, Sean began piano in 2001. He has won many awards and honors, including Honorable Mention at the Schubert Club Bach Competition in Stamford. He has taken part in master classes with Oxana Yablonskaya and Julian Martin at Juilliard School. In 2010 he performed the Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 with the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra in Plainfield N.J. This past summer he attended the Maine Summer Youth Music Program at the University of Maine and was a part of a Chamber Music Group that performed the Mozart Piano Quartet No. 1 KV 478 at the Chamber Music Institute at the University of Maine.

Honorable Mention, Piano

As a measure of the high quality of this year’s contestants, four Honorable Mentions were awarded:

Tzu-Yin Chi. Kent, CT, Grade 12, Kent School, Teacher, Margarita Nuller
Ege Berk Izmirli, Quaker Hill, CT, Grade 11, Williams School, Teacher Yoshie Akimoto
Meredith Keen, West Hartford, CT, homeschooled Grade 11, Teacher Margreet Francis
Mary Pan, Burlington, CT, homeschooled, Grade 12, Teacher Margreet Francis

Strings Competition Winners

First Place, Strings

Xinying ‘Anny’ Li, violin, a senior at Hall High in West Hartford and a student of Teri Einfeldt, won First Place in the strings division. Anny is a senior at Hall High School in West Hartford and studies with Teri Einfeldt at the Hartt School. She is a member of I Giovani Solisti and the Connecticut Youth Symphony, and was a winner in the 2009 CYS Concerto Competition. She has been chosen for the Hartt Senior String Honor recitals for the past three years and was the Abraham M. Huang Memorial Award recipient in 2009. She was the concertmistress for the 2010 and 2011 CMEA Northern Regional Orchestras and has participated in the CMEA All-State Orchestras. She has been accepted into the 2011 MENC All-Eastern Orchestra, in Baltimore, Maryland. She hopes to study humanities and music in college. At the concert on January 23, Anny will be performing the first movement of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, accompanied by Frank Viola.

Second Place, Strings

Cellist Allison Giebisch, a junior at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, won Second Prize in the Strings Competition. Allison studies with Minhye Clara Kim at the Juilliard Pre-College. She previously studied with Miriam Eckelhoefer at the Neighborhood Music School (NMS) in New Haven. She has participated in master classes with Irene Sharp, Colin Carr, Sung-Won Yang, Qiang Tu and Laurence Lesser, and has performed in solo, chamber and orchestral concerts at Juilliard's Paul and Morse Halls and Peter Jay Sharp theater. In 2009, Allison was chosen to attend the Sixth International Tchaikovsky Competition, held in Suwon, South Korea. She has won the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra Competition, the NMS Performance Prize Competition, and the Wallingford Symphony Concerto Competition. Allison has attended numerous music festivals, including the Music Alp Festival in Courchevel, France and Kinhaven in Vermont. She also enjoys playing chamber music, and has been coached by Jennifer Combs, Constance Moore, and Renee Jolles. As a member of the Vivace Trio, she was coached by Erica Schroth and Fiona Murray. This trio won the Westchester Musicians Guild Rosalyn Tobey Memorial Young Artists Award and performed in New Rochelle, New York.

Third Place, Strings

Third Place in the Strings Competition was won by Samuel Weiser of Westport, a junior at Staples High School in Westport, CT. Samuel is pursuing a double major at Manhattan School of Music Precollege in classical violin and jazz violin with Patinka Kopec and Sara Caswell. He is the 2008/9 recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin and the 2009 National ASTA alternative strings award winner. He has attended the Heifetz international Summer Institute and Mark O’Connor Camps and has performed with Mark O’Connor both as a soloist and as an ensemble member at Avery Fisher Hall and other venues. Sam’s debut CD, sam I am, was released February 2010 to critical acclaim. Classically, Sam was concertmaster and soloist at Norwalk Youth Symphony by ten and has since been concertmaster of numerous orchestras, including the Fairfield County Honors, Staples High School Chamber, Westport all-city and Staples High School Symphonic. He was the soloist and educator for the 33rd Annual Fairfield County Strings Festival in 2010. He was the first violinist in the Leon Tec showcase for outstanding young musicians and has studied chamber music under Asya Meshberg for many years.

Honorable Mention, Strings

Honorable Mention was awarded to Luke Piscitelli, violinist, a senior at Conard High School in West Hartford, who studies with Teri Einfeldt.

Voice Competition Winners

First Place, Voice

Emmanuel Couloucoundis took First Place in the Voice Division. A junior at Darien High School, Emmanuel began singing at the age of 11. At the age of 14, he has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall as an opening act for Metropolitan Opera soprano Monica Yanus. He auditioned and was accepted into the Mannes College new School for music pre-college classical voice. Last spring he was a regional winner at the high school level of the National Classical Singer Magazine Competition in New York City and he was invited to participate in the DePauw University Vocal Academy last summer. He plans to study classical voice performance at a conservatory after high school. He studies voice with Judith Bettina.

Second Place, Voice

Elizabeth Noble, a senior at E.O. Smith High School, won Second Place in the Voice Division. (She won Third Prize in last year’s Musical Club Competition.) Beth sings in the school choir, women’s choir and the chamber choir. She has attended summer programs at both Westminster Choir College and at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She has participated in the Eastern Region and All-State Music Festivals for the past three years, and the New England Music Festival for the past four years. She was recently accepted into the American high School Honor Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, and will perform with a select choir at Carnegie hall this spring. She performed as the “Beggar Woman” in the E.O. Smith production of Sweeny Todd, and will appear this spring as “Velma” in the musical Hairspray. Beth was the Third Place Winner in the Musical Club of Hartford High School Competition in Voice in 2010. She studies voice with Meredith Ziegler.

Third Place, Voice

Devin Guerreri, a Tolland High School Senior, was awardedThird Place in the Voice Division at the Competition. He performed in the Eastern Regional and All-State Choruses, twelve musical theater productions, three voice recitals and several Madrigal and Chorus concerts. Devin attended the New England Music Camp, and the Hartt Summer Vocal Institute. Memorable roles include “Jack” in the THS production of Into the Woods and “Horton” in TYSCT’s production of Seussical the Musical. Devin is the First Male Alternate and an Auditor in the Bushnell’s Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship. Upon graduation Devin will pursue a music degree in vocal performance. He studies voice with Lisabeth Miller.

Honorable Mention, Voice

Honorable Mention was awarded to Paul Tine of Newington, a student of Christopher Clark.

Winds Competition Winners

First Place, Winds

First Place in the Winds Division was awarded to Yeaeun ‘Julie’ Lee, a senior at Farmington High School who studies flute with Greig Shearer. She has been principal flute of the Connecticut Youth Symphony, the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, the Hartt Honors Woodwind Quintet, as well as the Connecticut Music Educator's Association Regional and All-State Orchestras, and Honors Flute Choir. She was a finalist in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition, and a prizewinner for the LISMA Competition. Julie plans to continue flute performance, and attend a music conservatory. At the concert on January 23 she will perform Movement III, Allegro Scherzando, of the Ibert Flute Concerto.

Second Place, Winds

Jessica Anne Hyde, a sophomore at E.O.Smith High School in Storrs, won Second Place in the Winds Division of the Competition. A flute student of Greig Shearer, she has been principal flute in both the Connecticut Music Educator's Association Eastern Region Band for two years, and was accepted into All State her freshman year. She regularly performs with her school Band, as well as the EO Smith Community Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist with the Hartt Honors Recitals, at the Rectory School in Pomfret, with the UCONN Treblemakers Chorus, and at the Quinnebaug Valley Music Festival. Jessica also performs regularly at nursing and retirement homes.

Third Place, Winds

New Fairfield High School Junior Alexander Roehl won Third Place in the Winds Division at the Competition. Alex was a finalist in the 2010 Danbury Music Center Concerto Competition. He is principal Clarinetist in the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, as well as the Western Region HS Orchestra. In addition to performing with his HS Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Tri-M Music Society, he has also performed in the Connecticut All State and Western Region Bands, and the URI Southern New England Honors Band. Alex was also selected for two New York City Opera pre-professional Workshops in 2010. He studies with Teresa Dolak. At the Winners Concert on January 23, Alex will perform movement 1, Allegro, from the Mozart Concerto for Clarinet in A, K622.

Honorable Mention, Winds

Honorable Mention, Winds, was awarded to Jesse Gardner, bassoon, a sophomore at Fitch High School, who lives in Mystic.