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Winners of the 2014 Musical Club of Hartford Scholarship Competition

The concert with the first, second and third place winners took place on Sunday, January 19, 2014, 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 - strings - winds - voice

Piano Competition Winners

First Place, Piano
First Place in the Piano Competition was awarded to Justin He, an eleventh grade student at Windsor High School who studies piano with Tamila Azadaliyeva at The Hartt School Community Division. He won the Evelyn Bonar Storrs Scholarship twice, the Watson Morrison Scholarship from The Hartt School, is a three-time 1st prize winner and four-time 2nd prize winner at the Audrey Thayer Piano Competition, and won 1st place at the Crescendo International Competition, performing a winner’s recital in Carnegie Hall. Justin also plays violin and was accepted into the Connecticut Northern Regional Festival. He also has played for his school Jazz Band and Orchestra. At the Winners Concert Justin will play Rhapsodie espagnole, S. 254 by Franz Liszt.

Second Place Piano
The Second Place winner in the Piano Competition was Samuel Wiseman, a senior at Kingswood Oxford School who studies with Sima Brodsky at The Hartt School Community Division and previously studied with Carolyn Halsted and Peter Mattaliano. He has been a concerto soloist with the Kingswood Orchestra and with the West Hartford Symphony, a chamber music performer at Kinhaven Music School, and a participant in a master class with Edward Cumming and Boaz Sharon. Samuel has been selected for the Honors Recital at The Hartt School Community Division for the past two years and is in their Performance Class. He is also a serious violin student, performing as concertmaster of the Kingswood Orchestra and as well as having been selected for All State. Samuel plans to continue studying music in college. His concert performance piece on January 19 will be: Johannes Brahms' Four piano pieces, Op. 19: No. 4, Rhapsody in E-flat Major

Third Place Piano
Third Place was won by Madeleine Jansson, a junior at Greenwich Academy who has studied piano for 9 years, currently under the tutelage of Yoshie Akimoto. She has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Halls of Westport and New York City, and Klavierhaus Recital Hall in NYC. In 2013, Madeleine was named first prize winner of the Fairfield County Schubert Club’s Senior Bach competition, and attended the Foulger International Musical Festival that summer. Her Concert performance piece: Serge Prokofiev's Visions fugitives, Op. 22: I. Lentamente; XI. Con vivacità; XIV. Feroce.

Honorable Mention Piano
Three Honorable Mentions were awarded: to Dax Brockington, Enrico Fermi High School, Enfield, Grade 10, Teacher: Margreet Francis, The Hartt School Community Division; also to Ly Dang, a junior at Conard High School, West Hartford, and student of Malgosia Lis, at The Hartt School Community Division; and also to Angela Luo, piano, a sophomore at South Windsor High School, who studies with Sima Brodsky, at The Hartt School Community Division.

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Strings Competition Winners

First Place Strings
First Place in Strings was awarded to Emily Azzarito, Cello, a junior at the New Canaan High School in New Canaan who studies with Lois Errante. Emily won both the American Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition of 2012 and the Eastern Connecticut Youth Symphony Orchestra Victor Norman Concerto Competition of 2013. She is the principal cellist of the Norwalk Youth Symphony and performed with them in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and on tour throughout Spain. She was chosen to be principal cellist of the Connecticut Music Educators Association Western Regional and All State Orchestras in 2013. At the concert on January 19, she will perform Elgar's Cello Concerto in e minor, First Movement (Adagio).

Second Place Strings
Second Place was awarded to violist Dora DeCaprio, a homeschooled sophomore from Lebanon, who studies with Kevin Bishop on scholarship from the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Last year, as a freshman, Dora placed second for viola in the New England Music Festival Association Solo and Ensemble competition. She was also invited to join local musicians in playing the Faure Requiem at a memorial concert in honor of the Newtown shooting victims. At the concert on January 19, she will perform Franz Anton Hoffmeister’s Concerto in D Major, Allegro

Third Place Strings
Third Place was won by Trent Ransom, violin, an honor student senior at Farmington High School who studies with Teri Einfeldt. He is a member of Farmington H.S. Symphony Strings, Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Band and also concertmaster of the Connecticut Youth Symphony for which he has been soloist. Last summer, Trent was a member of the Young Artists Orchestra of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. At the concert on January 19, Trent will be playing Sonata No 1 in g minor for solo violin, Adagio by Johann Sebastian Bach.

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Voice Competition Winners

First Place Voice
First Place was won by Nicholas Marmor, tenor, of Hamden. Nicholas started his music studies early, with cello lessons at age 4, and participated in ensembles at Neighborhood Music School, Norwalk Youth Symphony, and the Hopkins School. At age 7, he accepted into Trinity Choir of Men and Boys in New Haven, and still sings with them, now as a tenor. At age 11 and 12, he was cast as Amahl in the WCSU opera production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 9th grade, he participated in the CT All-State Choir, and also placed 2nd in the CT National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and placed 1st this past year, currently advancing to the Regional Competition. Last year, he also performed the role of Rolf in the Sound of Music. Recently, he competed in the Classical Singer Competition and have advanced to the next level of competition in San Antonio this coming May. At the Winners Concert he will perform Lake Isle of Innisfree by Ben Moore, and O del mio amato ben by Stefano Donaudy.

Second Place Voice
Second Place was awarded to Julia Brooks, soprano, home schooled junior from Windsor, CT. Julia studies voice with Dr. Brenda Keen. She has been a member of New England Girls Choir for the past three years and has been a featured soloist in group performances. She performs regularly in studio recitals and also enjoys sharing her voice as a soloist at her church. She also studies violin at the Hartt Community Division, with Liz Fay, and has participated in various ensembles there, including Vivace and Symphonia orchestra. At the Winners Concert she will sing Batti. Batti, (from Don Giovanni) and O Bell Masetto by Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, and also The Green Cornfield by Michael Head.

Third Place Voice
Third Place was given to Julia Orosz of Middlefield. Julia has participated in a number of festivals including the CMEA Southern Regional, CMEA All-State Chorus, and the New England Music Festival. She has also received special recognition award from the Shoreline Arts Alliance, including a mentorship with Patricia Schuman. In college plans to pursue a classical vocal major and participating in multiple performances. At the Winners Concert on January 19 she will sing Silent Noon by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Chanson D'amour by Gabriel Faure.

Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention was awarded to Sarah Welch, a homeschooled high school senior from Bristol, who studies with Dr. Brenda Keen. Sarah sang with the New England Girls Choir from 2011-2013, was a finalist in the women’s voice division of the High School Festival at Bob Jones University in November of 2013, and received honorable mention in the Musical Club of Hartford high school competition in January 2013. She sings with her church and also enjoys playing piano and violin. Sarah wishes to pursue an England major in college, combined with continued voice study.

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Winds Competition Winners

First Place Winds
First Place in the Winds division was won by oboist Amanda Samuel, a sophomore at East Granby High School, where she plays in the Concert Band. She studies oboe with Alison Wilson. Amanda is the principal oboist with Connecticut Youth Symphony, and was the principal oboist with the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble last year. She has participated in many State music festivals. At the concert on January 19, she will perform Poulenc’s Sonata for Oboe, first movement, “Elegie.”

Second Place Winds
Second Place was won by Caroline Valenti, clarinet, a senior at New Fairfield High School, where she has been principal clarinet in the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band and Community Pit Orchestra for 4 years. She studies with Theresa Dolak. Caroline is principal clarinetist with the Connecticut Western Region Orchestra this year, and has also been chosen to the NAFME All-Eastern and All-National Honor Band. She is also 2nd clarinet in the Western Ct Youth Orchestra. She has participated in Ct Regional and All State festivals throughout high school. Caroline was last year's Honorable Mention in the Musical Club of Hartford's Competition. She is also president of the Tri-M Honor Society, and is a member of the National Honor Society, and performs at the local Senior citizen's center regularly. At the concert on January 19, she will perform Andre Messager’s Solo de Concours.

Third Place Winds
Third Place winner was Divya Bana, flute, a senior at Simsbury High School and a student of Bridget Gilchrist. She has performed with all the school’s bands and ensembles, and has also participated in the Connecticut Northern Regional Band and Orchestra. She has also participated in the American Society of Band Directors Festival Band for 4 years, and has been selected to the Ct Northern Region Honors Band and been soloist and principal flute for the Ct Northern Region Honors Flute Choir, as well. At the concert on January 19 she will perform a movement from Sonata for Flute and Piano by Robert Mols.

Honorable Mention Winds
Honorable Mention was awarded to Molli Eliza Carr, flute, a junior at Avon High School who studies with Michelle Davis.