Young Artist Competition
2022-2023 Application & Guidelines
Congratulations to our 2022 Young Artist Competition Winners!
Brayden Cheang, age 13, is an 8th grader at West Ridge Middle School in Austin. Brayden began piano studies with Dr. Susan Groves at the age of 5. He was awarded Grand Prix in the IV International Chopin Piano Competition organized by Gloria Artis in Vienna (2022), First Prize in Neapolitan Masters International Piano Competition (2020), Gold Prize in the World Piano Teachers Association Finland International Piano Competition (2020), Gold Medalist and winner of Outstanding Nocturne and Jan Ekier awards “The Best Performance of the Most Difficult Piece” in the Chopin Society of Houston Eleventh International Youth Piano Competition (2019), First Prize and Exceptional Young Musician Special Prize in the Golden Classical Music Award (2019), First Prize in International Piano Talents Competition Milano, Italy (2019), and First Place in the Rochelle Liebling Kahan Memorial Fund Competition for Child Piano Prodigies (2018). He was also a prize winner in Henle Piano Competition (2021), Chicago International Music Competition and Festival (2020), Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition (2020), and Steinway Piano Competition (2018). Locally, he was the First-Place winner in numerous piano contests organized by Austin District Music Teachers Associations, including Solo Contest (2015-2017) and Scholarship Contest (2016-17, 2019-22).
Besides playing the piano, Brayden enjoys skiing, playing football, swimming and hanging out with his friends.
Adrian Fisher, age 14, is a freshman at Dripping Springs High School. He started playing cello at the age of 5. Melissa Solomon has been his cello teacher since he was in 5th grade. He was a member of the Austin Youth Orchestra from 2016 to 2020. Recently, he received a superior rating for UIL Region Solo and Ensemble and he will participate in UIL All State Solo and Ensemble in May. He was named 2nd chair for TMEA All-Region High School Orchestra in 2022. He was also named 2nd chair for TMEA All-Region Middle School Orchestra in 2021.
Adrian is currently a member of Dripping Springs High School Camerata orchestra, their top orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Jessica Gilliam-Valls. He is also a member of Melissa Solomon’s studio cello choir and cello quartet.
In addition to cello, he plays piano and he has been working on composing music. He loves to visit Japan during the school summer break and helps his grandmother with grape and apple orchards and enjoys hiking mountains there.
Joshua Henselman is a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Veritas Academy and has studied piano since he was five. He enjoys many genres, including all classical music, film scores, musicals, and pop music. For three years, he has been the captain of the Veritas drum line, leading the drum line in earning several top state honors at TAPPS competitions. He plays a wide variety of percussion instruments in the Veritas percussion ensemble.
Joshua has earned many awards locally, state-wide, and nationally. These awards include top prizes in the Fort Bend Marielle Ogletree Young Artist Concerto Competition, DeBose National Piano Competition, TMTA State Performance Contest, Steinway Piano Gallery Concerto Competition, ADMTA Solo Contest, ADMTA Scholarship Contest, Baylor/Waco Piano Competition, and Blinn College Competition. Joshua also enjoys collaborative playing. As an eighth-grade student, he accompanied a full-length production of The Greatest Showman presented by the Veritas high school drama troupe. This spring, he will provide the piano/orchestral reduction accompaniment for the Veritas drama departments musical production of Into the Woods. He accompanies other student instrumentalists for competitions and festivals and regularly collaborates with other pianists in duets, duos, trios, and quartets.
In addition to his musical endeavors, Joshua also enjoys spending time outdoors. He especially enjoys hiking in the Colorado Rockies and playing football, frisbee, and table tennis. He pursues a rigorous course load at Veritas Academy, planning a STEM-heavy graduation plan. He also
works as a member of the custodial staff for his school.
Joshua’s primary instructor is Peggy DeArmond (Naples, Idaho), with support from his previous teacher, Jeannie DeArmond-Henselman. He is self-driven, often selecting his own repertoire and defining his own ambitions. Performing the Prokofieff Piano Concerto No. 2 has been his dream for many years. Having performed the first movement of Prokofieff 2 with the Fort Bend Symphony in March 2022, he is thrilled to collaborate with the Starlight Symphony on the third movement of this marvelous concerto.
Sophia Louie, age 14, is a freshman at Westwood High School. She started playing violin at the age of 8 with Dr. Amy Harris. After playing for only 2 and 1/2 years she was awarded Honorable Mention in the 8th Young Musicians’ Festival Competition. Since 2016 she has been studying with Dr. Alexander Serafimov who has taken her playing to new heights, helping her become a more complete violinist and musician. In 2019 she won first prize in the Blackerby Young Violinists Competition, second prize for Great Composers Competition – The Art of Strings and most recently, first prize for Great Composers Competition – Best Beethoven Performance. She is honored to be chosen and thrilled with the opportunity to play with the Starlight Symphony Orchestra.
Sophia is also currently a member of Westwood High School’s Symphony orchestra, their top orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Joshua Thompson. This highly acclaimed orchestra just recently returned from the 2019 Midwest Clinic in Chicago where only two full high school orchestras in the nation were selected to perform at the Clinic. She has also performed Chamber Music as part of a quartet in the Chamber Music in Public Schools (CHAMPS) program giving multiple public performances throughout the Austin area.
In addition to violin, Sophia is an accomplished pianist and has won numerous competitions. Most recently these include, first prize in the 2019 ADMTA Solo Contest, first prize for the 2019 Steinway Junior Piano Competition, first prize in the 2019 Schedler Scholarship competition, second place in the 2019 Baylor/Waco Piano Competition, second prize for Great Composers Competition – The Art of Piano third place for the 2018 Texas Performance Solo Contest. Her piano teacher is Ms.Emily Yeh Chow. In addition to playing and performing beautiful music, Sophia enjoys dancing, swimming, travelling and listening to music.
Glenn Choe, age 15, is a sophomore at Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, Texas. He began percussion when he joined the middle school band program, and has now been playing for five years under the direction of Hector Gil in both middle school and high school. As he chases his passion in percussion, he is continuously learning, challenging himself, and becoming inspired by the many different aspects of music.
Some of his recent achievements include being one of the 2019 PASIC scholarship recipients, 1st place at The Great Plains International Marimba Competition 2019, participating in the 2019 Juilliard Percussion Summer Seminar, 1st place in the 2019 Vista Ridge Young Artist Competition, making the 2020 TMEA All-State band, and 3rd place in the 2018 & 2019 Texas State University Percussion Solo Contest.
On top of his individual accomplishments, he also loves to perform with his very active school band program. He played marimba in the 2019 marching band show ‘Turning the Tables,’ which won the BOA Midland Championships, and also played xylophone in the 2018 show ‘Lost and Found,’ which won the UIL 6A State Championship. He also played in the 2018 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) with the Vista Ridge High School Percussion Ensemble, at TMEA with the Henry Middle School Honors Band in 2018, and at Midwest 2016 with the Henry Middle School Honors Band. He is constantly inspired by the infinite world of music, and the many different genres, musicians, and styles that it has to offer. Jealous of the hundreds of years of classical history that other instruments have, unlike percussion which has really only been developed and explored in the last one hundred years, Glenn finds a lot of his inspiration from other instruments, and he hopes to one day apply the level of expression and quality of sound they’re able to make onto percussion instruments.
Glenn has also been a volunteer teacher in the nonprofit student-led organization ‘Music Eunited,’ where he has been teaching percussion to physically or financially challenged young students for three years. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing with his family and friends, drawing, and sitting on his phone as most teenagers do.Starlight Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition is held each concert season and invites exceptional young instrumentalists, of all ages up thru high school seniors to compete for music scholarships towards their education in music. The top performers are selected as the featured soloists for the Young Artist Concerts held in the spring each season. The solo competition is open to all orchestral instruments, including brass, percussion, piano, strings, and woodwinds. Suitable pieces are solo works intended to be performed with orchestral accompaniment.
Lauren Mathews, 16, is in the eleventh grade at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. She currently studies cello with Brinton Smith, principal cellist of the Houston Symphony and Sami Myerson Khang. Lauren began studying cello with Donna Rogers at the age of 5. As a 9th grader, Lauren was named a 2018-2020 Texas Young Master by the Texas Commission on the Arts and received a grant to further her cello studies. Lauren was accepted into the New York String Orchestra Seminar in December 2019 and performed with the orchestra in Carnegie Hall. She has recently won the Houston Civic Symphony Concerto Competition as well as First Prize in the Juanita Miller Concerto Competition.
Lauren has also won concerto competitions and performed as a soloist with Symphony North of Houston, the Houston Civic Symphony, Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra, and the Houston Youth Symphony Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2012, Lauren has been a member of the Houston Youth Symphony. Lauren earned a top spot in the Texas All-State Symphony Orchestra in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In January 2018, Lauren performed with the Esperanza Trio on the Houston Young Artists’ Concert at Rice University. Since 2010, she has earned superior ratings with honors at the ASTA Certificate Advancement Program. Lauren has attended summer festivals at The Meadowmount School of Music, Bowdoin International Music Festival, The Eastman Cello Institute, and The National Cello Institute. In her free time, Lauren enjoys working with the Back to BACH Project which helps to inspire a love of music in young children and promote arts education.
Adriana Bec, age 12, is a student of Matthew Zerweck in San Antonio. Adriana loves playing the violin because it touches people’s emotions, giving them a reason to smile, to laugh or even to cry. Being “half ‘n half” Texan-Romanian, Adriana learned her favorite hill country fiddlin’ tunes studying with Deanna Badgett. She also has a special love for Romanian fiddling, including lively gypsy fiddling as well as more classical works by Romanian composers like George Enescu and Ciprian Porumbescu. Adriana owes thanks to local artist Stephanie Raby of the Austin Baroque Orchestra for introducing her to the beauty of Baroque period performance and fostering her love of Baroque music and improvisation.
Adriana’s violin highlights of 2018 include lessons with Charles Castleman at the University of Miami, Rachel Podger at the Royal Academy of Music, and the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio’s String Quartet and Music Composition Seminars. So far, 2019 highlights include performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4, Mvt. 1 as a soloist with the San Antonio Sinfonietta, as well as performing as a soloist with the Starlight Symphony Orchestra! Adriana’s love for music keeps her busy as a member of Wayside Chapel’s orchestra and the Bethany Romanian Church’s String Ensemble. Adriana loves the piano and enjoys studying as a student of Dr. Ara Koh. If you ever hear someone practicing the violin in an airport, it could be Adriana. She loves traveling with her parents and visiting their widespread family. She learned early on that traveling meant finding lots creative ways to squeeze in practice, usually in exchange for ice cream. When she’s not practicing, you’ll find Adriana baking, snuggled in a chair reading, playing with her cat, or creating videos for her YouTube channel Vividly Violin.
Margaret Seo is an 18-year-old senior at Westwood High School. Her accomplishments on violin have been a direct reflection of her dedication and talent. Margaret started violin lessons at the age of 5. In May 2012, she won the 7th Asian American Community Partnership Competition Junior Division, which led to her performance at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas. Margaret performed with the Austin Civic Orchestra after winning the 2013 Pearl Amster Competition. In 2016, Margaret won the Austin Symphony Youth Award and toured with the Austin Symphony Orchestra to local high schools in Austin. She has been interviewed and broadcasted live by Dianne Donovan on Austin’s KMFA Classical Radio Station. In 2017, Margaret won the Wilcox Music Award from the Wednesday Morning Music Club and performed at the annual Spring Luncheon for the club. Margaret is also a previous winner of the Starlight Symphony’s Young Artist Competition.
Margaret has participated in the Texas All State Orchestra throughout her schooling. She placed fifth in the state in 2015-2016, sixth in 2016-2017, 3rd in 2017-2018, and 35th in 2018-2019. Since 2014, Margaret has been the Region 26 concertmistress continually. She placed second in the Music Teachers National Association State Competition in 2013. Margaret was a member of the Chamber Music in Public Schools (CHAMPS) for 2 years and placed first in the Chamber division of the Asian American Competition with her Grieg Quartet in 2016 and placed as finalist at the Coltman Competition in 2017. Margaret was the concertmistress of the Austin Chamber Orchestra in 2010 and performed a solo with the orchestra. She also received the Outstanding Soloist Award in 2016 and 2017 and is currently the first violinist of the string quartet under the direction of the Amster Chamber Music Program. Margaret has been the concertmistress of the Westwood High School Symphony Orchestra since 2015. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and jogging.
At the age of 5 she began studying violin and she is currently under the instruction of Dr. Pasha Sabouri. She has previously been studied with violinist Sandy Yamamoto. During the summer of 2017 Sophie attended Texas Strings Festival and Encore Chamber Music where she was able to study with Jinjoo Cho, Nancy Zhou and the Ariel String Quartet.
Her awards and recognitions include being named a prizewinner in the Juanita Miller Concerto Competition, Starlight Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 Young Artist Solo Competition, Wilcox Competition, Austin Symphony Concerto Competition, Pearl Amster Concerto Competition. Coltman Chamber Music Competition and was awarded Austin Chamber Music Center’s Felicity Coltman Scholarship Award for chamber music excellence and leadership. In February 2018, Sophia won 2nd place competing in the Junior division of the National Sphinx Competition for string players.
She is ranked Best in Class with Austin Independent School District Solo and Ensemble Contest for the past three years, and ranked Outstanding Soloist at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest last year. She has been a featured soloist with regional orchestras, and has acted as concertmaster for the Austin Youth Symphony and Philharmonic, as well as the McCallum HS Chamber Orchestra and the Region 18 Symphony Orchestra. Playing both the violin and viola, Sophia is an active chamber musician. Sophia has played in masterclasses with artists including Miriam Fried, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis, Jan Mark Sloman, Jinjoo Cho, Nancy Zhou, Annie Fullard, Martin Beaver, the Emerson String Quartet, and the American String Quartet. In the summer of 2016, Sophie attended the Meadowmount School of Music under the tutelage of Gerardo Ribeiro.
Outside of music, Sophia enjoys reading, swimming, and spending time with her family and family. She is very excited about the prospect of a long career in music.
She is an accomplished pianist with thirteen years of performing experience. Sarah comes from a family of musicians. All five of her siblings have been competitive pianists with extensive performance backgrounds. Her parents own MusicMasters Piano Showroom. Her parents are also piano teachers, and for the past several years, Sarah has joined her parents as a teacher herself in the family business.
She has competed and performed in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, and California and has earned awards in the DeBose National Piano Competition, the Baylor University Piano Competition, the Texas State Piano Competition, the United States Open Music Competition, the US International Duo Competition, the Austin Asian American Young Musicians Festival, the MCC Piano Competition, the ADMTA Scholarship Competition, and the ADMTA Solo Contest. Sarah has also earned Gold Medals for the past eleven years in the TMTA State Theory Exam and The TMTA World of Music Exam.
Her performance schedule typically encompasses fifteen to twenty performances each school year. Sarah’s musical versatility includes a wide variety of repertoire. She has performed music by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Gliere, Debussy, Ravel, Szymanowski, Prokofieff, Lecuona, Joplin, Brickman, and Yanni. She has abundant ensemble experience, performing for the past eleven years on piano ensemble teams at the TMTA Convention each June. Her collaborative piano experience includes piano duets, duos, trios, and quartets with numerous other award-winning students in competition and other adjudicated events.
Sarah is also a top-achieving student, pursuing a rigorous academic curriculum. She is currently nearing completion of a senior thesis in pursuit of the Veritas Distinguished Diploma, the highest academic honor conferred by her high school. Her college plans include international studies, economics, and an undergraduate thesis program, with a long-term goal of attending law school.
Her awards include being named a Miyazawa Emerging Artist. She has received numerous awards since she began playing in middle school. Most recently she received first place in the 2017 MTNA Senior Woodwind competition in Texas, the South Central division, and placed third in the MTNA National Competition in Baltimore. She also placed third in the 2017 National Flute Association High School Soloist Competition. Joanna was featured on NPR’s From The Top Show 350 and is a recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.
She currently is a member of the Austin Harmony Youth Chamber Orchestra and Vivace Youth Orchestra.
Jiyee accomplishments in music include, at the age 11, she was named as a first prize winner and was given the opportunity to perform in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She was featured on NPR’s From the Top, and she was named a Jack Kent Cooke scholarship winner. She was the first-place winner of the Alexander Buono International String Competition, and she also won the Düsseldorf’s Enkor Competition. Jiyee was one of the winners for Starlight’s Young Artists Competition in 2014. Other first place wins include the Sung-Jung Music, Seongnam City Wide Music, and KUMF Music Competitions, as well as wins in the Young Artists International Music Festival held by the Hudson Foundation, and the Eumyeon Violin Competition, which were held in South Korea. She was also the 3rd place winner of the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition held in Dallas.
She has performed with the Union City Philharmonic in New York and New Jersey, Starlight Symphony Orchestra, and the Balcones Community Orchestra in Austin, Texas.
When Jiyee is not practicing/playing the violin, she enjoys hanging out with her friends at the mall, taking artsy photography, and listening to any kind of music. Her other interests include art; specifically drawing, jump-roping, and running, and she says her best hobby is sleeping.
Margaret’s notable achievements began in 2010 when she was named concert mistress of the Austin Chamber Orchestra, and played a solo with the orchestra. In May 2012, she won the 7th Asian American Community Partnership Competition Junior Division, and performed her solo at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas. She won the Pearl Amster competition in 2013, which gave her opportunity to perform with the Austin Civic Orchestra, and she placed second in the Music Teachers National Association State Competition the same year. Since 2014, she has been the Region 26 concert mistress continually, and in 2016 she participated in Texas All-State Orchestra, placing fifth in the state. In 2016, she also won the Austin Symphony Youth Award, and toured with the Austin Symphony Orchestra to local high schools in Austin and was awarded the UIL Outstanding Performance Award.
Margaret is currently a member of the Chamber Music in Public Schools (CHAMPS), and placed first in the Chamber division of the Asian American Competition with her Grieg Quartet. She is also the concertmaster of the Westwood High School Orchestra.
Margaret’s favorite subject is science, and she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. In her free time, Margaret likes to go jogging and swimming.
Lillian’s musical journey continues with the upcoming performances, calling it a new and amazing adventure, she looks forward to working with the conductor and musicians.
School studies, family time and violin lessons with teacher, Molly Emerman, keep her happily busy. Science has captured her imagination for college, but music remains her home of the heart, a time to reflect. “I’m grateful for my early established connection with my instrument, and it’s where I can always turn to settle everything else going on around me, she says. “I miss it if I don’t play.”
Musically innovative, Sophia enjoys experimenting with familiar music themes and particularly admires international violinist, Itzhak Perlman, for his musical interpretations and friendly personality. “He never plays pieces the same way twice. Other violinists may be more technically skilled, but his are the ones that give you chills, “she says.
Sophia has won many music awards, but perhaps her very special moments come on Saturday mornings as she glances at people strolling by at the Austin farmers’ market where she “busks” to raise funds for summer music camp and bring closer her dream of music conservatory. As she plays, families pause to listen and children dance. For Sophia, the circle continues.
When Jiyee is not playing violin, she likes to read mysteries, watch animations, and spend time with her friends.
Jiyee would like to thank her family, friends and teachers for their love and support. Above all, she thanks God for the talent and all the blessings He has given her.
Cello, however, is not Gyu-Hee’s only instrument; he is also an accomplished clarinetist. He received a division 1 at UIL Solo and Ensemble competition with the clarinet two years in a row and was the first chair clarinetist for the All-Region Band twice as well. He plays clarinet in the LTHS Cavalier Band, and was also featured as the soloist on the electric cello during the past two state marching competition seasons. He plays cello and clarinet for the C H A M P S (Chamber Music in Public Schools) group at school. He enjoys playing music for others at senior homes, church, and other community events.
He would like to thank his family and friends for encouraging and supporting him throughout the past 4 years of his high school career. Their continuous support has helped him immensely. He would also like to thank his teachers for their hard work in teaching everything up until now. Special thanks to the Starlight Symphony for this amazing opportunity.
Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat Major, 2nd and 3rd Mvmts…W.A. Mozart
He was a finalist for both the Juanita Miller/Texas Assoc. of Sym. Orch. and Pearl Amster Solo Concerto Competitions. In addition to his orchestra and band honors, he has received numerous Division I ratings on his solos and ensembles at UIL Region 12 and State. In 2011, he was named Outstanding Soloist at the UIL Wind Ensemble Festival. Three years in a row, he was awarded the TMEA Music Scholar Award for meritorious performance in the areas of scholarship, musicianship and citizenship.
He has been a National Honor Society member for the past two years. He enjoys playing his horn for school choirs and other school events. Tyler currently takes lessons from Dr. Patrick Creel of Southwestern University and Marc Lumley who has been his previous teacher for the past five years.
Tyler would like to thank his family, friends and numerous teachers for all their efforts and continued support. Upon graduation, he is planning on majoring in Horn Performance.
In college, Tabitha plans to pursue a degree in violin performance. After college she aims to perform with a professional symphony and teach.
Tabitha would like to thank all of her friends and mentors for their love and support. She thanks her teachers–all of them–for taking the time to make her a better person. She thanks her parents and sister for their constant sacrifices to make sure that she has everything she needs to be successful. Above all, she thanks her Lord Jesus for giving her the talent and the means to achieve His purpose for her life.
12 years old
Brian has won more than ten awards in the Northeast District of San Antonio Solo and Ensemble contests and attended summer music camps, such as Summer Music Institute and Suzuki camps. He is an active violinist, playing at festivals, nursing homes, and his church and works hard to do his best in the field of music. Brian would like to thank his peers, family, and his teachers for their support. Besides music, Brian is a swimmer for Alamo Area Aquatics Association (AAAA). He also enjoys being a member of his school’s Mathcounts and Science Bowl team and volunteering at swim meets.
Cellist Concerto in D Minor, 1st mvmt by Edouard Lalo
Cello, however, is not Gyu-Hee’s only instrument; he is also an accomplished clarinetist. He received a division 1 at UIL Solo and Ensemble competition with clarinet last year and was the first chair clarinetist for the All-Region Band two years in a row. He plays clarinet in the LTHS Cavalier Band, but was also featured as the soloist on the electric cello during this past marching season. He plays cello and clarinet for the CHAMPS (Chamber Music in Public Schools) group at school. He enjoys playing music for others at senior homes, his church, and other community events. Gyu-Hee would like to thank his family, friends and teachers for their support.
Clarinet Soloist Concertino Op. 26 Carl Maria von Weber
TJ is a student of Paula Corley and is the second student from her studio to win the Starlight Young Artist title. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in music education.
TJ would like to thank his family, Paula and Al Corley, Keith Lancaster and the staff of the Dripping Springs Band Program, and his friends for their support of his musical endeavors.
In addition to her participation in the Starlight Youth Orchestra, Christine is active in her church youth group and is a member of her high school Student Council and French Club. In her spare time she enjoys being with her friends and listening to music.
Christine would like to thank the Starlight Symphony, her family, and her teachers for helping make this solo experience possible for her. She considers this a great honor.
Over the ten years she has been playing piano, Madison has performed with local jazz musicians, participated in yearly guild auditions, and has gone to several chamber music camps. When she was eleven, she traveled to Germany to study and perform at the Robert Schumann Music Conservatory.
Her hobbies include drawing, reading, traveling, playing tennis, and shopping. In the future, she hopes to attend Julliard School of Music for an education in music as well as a degree in journalism. Her biggest aspiration is to travel the world and learn at least four languages. For now though, she is just taking her life one day at a time, and thanking God for the blessings He has given her.
Soloist Clarinet Concerto in E Flat Major Opus 36 — Krommer
Sarah is a student of Paula Corley. She participates in Leo’s Club and Venture Crew activities. She wishes to continue her music studies throughout high school and college.
Sarah would like to thank her family, friends, Paula Corley, and her band directors for their encouragement and support over the years.
Soloist Concertini No. 1 for Piano — Anna Asch
Alek has played violin with the Starlight Symphony Ochestra for the past two years. He has been homeschooled all his life, and this year is taking part of his course load at Austin Community College. His interests include learning Kung Fu from Sifu Chris Denslow, weight training, reading spy novels, and chemistry.
Alek would like to thank his whole family for all their love and support: his sister Erika, for helping him practice all those years even when he didn’t want to, and his parents, for getting him started in music!
Soloist Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major (1st movement) — W.A. Mozart
Wallis began playing violin at the age of five with The University of Texas String Project, after being inspired by her grandmother, who has played violin since childhood. Since her String Project days, Wallis joined the Austin Chamber Music Academy, and found she loves chamber music. She also participated in UIL Solo and Ensemble in violin and voice, meriting high marks from the judges in both categories. Wallis has played with the Starlight Symphony for six years.
Aside from violin, Wallis also participates in organizations such as Girl Scouts, Thespian Society, National Honor Society, and French Club. She is especially privileged to be an intern at DA! Theatre Collective in Austin. Her other interests include acting, singing, photography, dancing, and reading. Though she hopes to focus on theater in college, she will never give up music as a part of her life.
From family and friends to teachers and mentors, Wallis would like to thank everyone in her life for providing help and encouragement.
Jon Michael Perez
Jon-Michael began playing clarinet in the 6th grade and switched to the oboe in the 9th grade. He also plays the flute and the English horn. He plays clarinet, oboe and English horn with the wind ensemble, which is the top band at his school. Last year, he was principal oboe with the Starlight Symphony Youth Orchestra. Last summer he performed with the woodwind ensemble from the orchestra at the Wimberley Children’s Library.
Jon-Michael’s dream is to be a great oboe player in the future. He just won his first scholarship and is on his way to fulfilling his dream.
Soloist Horn Concerto No. 3 in E Flat Major, K.447 (2nd & 3rd movements) — Mozart
Miss Denslow has attended annually, for seven years, the piano workshops sponsored by the Heart of Texas Suzuki Organization at Texas State University, San Marcos. There, she worked with pianists Dr. Ralph Harrel, Dr. Doris Harrel, David Renner, Cynthia Prince, Lita Guerra, Dr. Angelica Lopez, Dr. Brad Bolen, Dr. David Brown, and Carolyn True.
Erika Denslow has played violin in the Starlight Symphony Orchestra since its inception in January 2002. In addition, she has sung with the Wimberley Community Chorus for two seasons. She enjoys playing for church events, nursing homes, and collaborating with other musicians to play ensemble pieces for various occasions.
Miss Denslow is currently employed as the accompanist and Children’s Choir director at St. Mary Catholic Church in Wimberley. She is a home schooled senior, and will be attending Williams College in the fall. While she does not plan to pursue a music-related career, her multiple talents will always be with her, and she will continue to hold a special place for music in her heart.
Nora’s first taste of competition came at the age of eight when her two-year-old brother Louis, now an experienced violinist, tried repeatedly to grab Nora’s violin for himself. More recently, she was chosen as a member of the TMEA All-Region Orchestra. In December, she was named a finalist in the Pearl Amster Youth Concerto Competition of the Austin Civic Orchestra.
For the past five years Miss Henschen has enjoyed being a member of the Austin Youth Orchestra. She and her brother have always been home-schooled. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music and reading novels. She qualified to audition during the YA Festival by volunteering community service hours in support of the SSO.
Miss Henschen is a parishioner and altar server at St. Mary Cathedral, as well as a member of Teens for Unity, an international movement committed to a united world. Nora Henschen looks forward to a career in music and is grateful to her parents for all their love and support.
The two winners will be featured soloists for the Starlight Symphony Orchestra’s spring concerts.
Adela Hein will perform the first movement from the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major and Lily Skipper will perform the Meditation from Massenet’s Thaïs.
The two winners will be featured soloists for the Starlight Symphony Orchestra’s spring concerts.
Adela Hein will perform the first movement from the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major and Lily Skipper will perform the Meditation from Massenet’s Thaïs.