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Clear Lake Symphony

2009 Youth Concerto Competition Winners

The Clear Lake Symphony held a competition on February 28, 2009  for young artists from Houston Metro area high schools, junior highs, and elementary schools. 
The Youth Concerto Competition winners will be provided with a scholarship and perform as a featured soloist with the Clear Lake Symphony at the March 28, 2009 concert.  Forty nine (49) participants participated in this year's competition.

Junior Wind Division

Ashley Hunter (Flute) Winner, "Poem for Flute and Orchestra", by Griffes.  Age 14 in the 9th grade.  Daughter of Bryan & Allison Hunter.  Ashley has studied flute 3-1/2 years. Teacher: Mercedes Smith  Ashley wants to be a professional flutist.  She plays tennis for her high school and likes to attend the Houston Ballet and Opera.

Musical  Achievements:
Houston Youth Symphony
All-Region Band, 9th Grade
All-Region Orchestra, 9th Grade


Senior Wind Division

Matthew Barker (Trumpet) Winner, "Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat", by Arutiunian.  Age 16 in the 11th grade at Pasadena Memorial High School.  Son of Mike & Debbie Barker.  Studied trumpet for 6 years and piano 10 years.  Trumpet teachers:  Jim Vassallo, Guinn Pitts and Randy Adams. Piano teacher: Joan Nassiri.  Matthew spends his summers attending music camps and performs overseas.  He is a member of the Tallowood Baptist Church Orchestra and is an Eagle Scout.  Matthew enjoys playing video games in his spare time.  He plans to continue his love of music and performing like his brother and parents as he plans to major in music at the university level.

Musical Achievements:
TMEA All-State Band/Orchestra (2007 - 2009)
TMEA Area, Region, District Band/Orchestra (6 years - 6th thru 11th grade)
Clear Lake Symphony Youth Concerto Junior Wind Division Winner (2007)
Houston Youth Symphony Principal Trumpet, 4 years
Virtuosi of Houston Youth Symphony, Principal Trumpet (2008 - 2009)
National Piano Guild Roll, 10 years
Outstanding Soloist at TSSEC (2008)

Honorable Mention
Megan Pogue (Flute), "Serenade for Flute, Harp, & String Orchestra", by Hanson. Music Teacher: Norma Williams. 
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Junior Piano Division

Elizabeth Zhang
(Piano) Winner, "Piano Concerto No.2 in B-Flat, 1st mvt.", by Beethoven.  Age 14 in the 9th grade at Bellaire High School.  Daughter of Qingxiu & Ronghua Zhang. Elizabeth studied piano 9 years.  Music Teacher: John Weems.  She enjoys drawing and playing the piano. Elizabeth hopes to become a doctor when she grows up.

Musical Achievements:
Houston Young Artist (2007, 2009)
1st Place, Texas University's Young Pianist Competition, 9th grade
Chosen for master classes at the University of Houston Music Festival

Honorable Mention
Victoria Songyang (Piano), "Piano Concerto No. 13 in C, K415, 1st mvt." by Mozart. Music Teacher: James Stovall.

Senior Piano Division

Nam Nguyen (Piano) Winner, "Piano Concerto in G, 1st mvt."  by Ravel.  Age 18 in the 12th grade at Stephen F. Austin High School.  Daughter of Dr. Vinh & Le Nguyen.  Nam studied piano 14 years.  Piano teacher: John Weems.  Nam, in her spare time, worked on the Obama Presidential Campaign and volunteered for the BPSOS social service organization.  Her eclectic taste in music ranges from folk-rock to jazz.

Musical Achievements:
Houston Young Artist recitals, 2 years
1st Place, Virginia Bach Competition
2nd Place,
TMEA Concerto contest
1st Chair, All-State, 9th grade
World Pedagogy Conference, participant

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Junior String Division

Erik Wheeler (Cello) Winner, "Variations on a Rococo Theme", by Tschaikowsky.  Age 14 in the 9th grade at High School for Performing & Visual Arts.  Son of Lawrence Wheeler & Linda Sanders.  Erik studied cello for 9 years.  Music teachers: Lynn Harrell and Brinton Smith.  Aside from music, Erik enjoys sports, reading, spending time with his friends and being in the great outdoors.

Musical Achievements:
Houston Civic Symphony Concerto Competition Winner (2008)
Greater Houston Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner (2005, 2008)
Principal Cello, All-State Symphony Orchestra (2009)

Honorable Mention
Ben Zannoni (Viola), "Viola Concerto in D, 1st mvt." by Stamitz. Music Teacher: James Dunham.

Senior String Division

Elijah Baik (Cello) Winner, "Cello Concerto in D minor, 1st mvt." by Lalo.  Age 15 in the 9th grade at Taylor High School.  Son of John & Youngsook Baik.  Elijah studied cello for 4 years.  Cello teachers: Christopher French and Brinton Smith.  He enjoys listening to music, reading and swimming.

Musical Achievements:
1st Place, Houston Youth Symphony Concerto Competition (2007)
1st Place, Houston Civic Symphony Young Artist Competition (2008)
Houston Young Artist Concert (2009)
TMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra (2009)

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Thank You Roje Yap !

Many thanks go to Competition Coordinator, Roje Yap for his tireless work to put this competition and concert together.  A big thank you also goes to his committee  who helped during the competition and the judges on February 28, 2009.

A fine job was done by the competition Judges. 
This year's judges were the following:

Associate Conductor - Clear Lake Symphony
Principal Clarinet - Clear Lake Symphony
Ms. Bruce Brown
French Horn Player - Clear Lake Symphony
  Free-Lance French Horn Artist
Mr. Patrick Sloan, Sr.
  Principal String Bass - Clear Lake Symphony
Director of Orchestra & Keyboard - Albright Fine Arts Academy

PIANO DIVISION Dr. Charles Johnson
  Music Director - Clear Lake Symphony
Viola Player - Houston Ballet Orchestra
Dr. Sooah Chae
Faculty - UH Moores School of Music
Dr. Soyoon Lee
Piano Faculty - Lone Star College

STRING DIVISION Ms. Kysha Bradshaw
Concertmaster - Clear Lake Symphony
  Private Music Teacher
Ms. Alice Steele
Concertmaster Emeritus - Clear Lake Symphony
Texas Orchestra Director (retired)
Dr. Kurt Gilman
Director of String Activities - Lamar University

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For information on CLS, contact Bob Wall at clsbob@aol.com

Last Updated: 04/21/2011