2022 WYSO Concerto Competition Winners & Honorable Mentions
The WYSO Concerto Competitions for Youth and Philharmonia Orchestras are an annual spring tradition. This year, a record number of forty-two hard-working and talented WYSO musicians in the Youth and Philharmonia orchestras competed in February and the competition results are in!
The students followed a process that required preparation of approved concertos and an audition before judges. Out of the pool of competitors, the judges announced a Winner and four Honorable Mentions for each orchestra competition. In addition, a Runner-Up was named for the Youth Orchestra competition, and a winner was named for the Murphy Family Interlochen Scholarship, worth $1,000 towards tuition at the prestigious Interlochen music camp in Michigan.
The two Concerto Competition Winners, Katarina Kenney for the Philharmonia Orchestra Competition and Ava Kenney for the Youth Orchestra Competition will perform (respectively) as soloists with the Philharmonia and Youth Orchestras in the Spring Concerts at the Hamel Music Center on May 22 and 27. The Runner-Up for the Youth Orchestra competition, marimbist Anais Griffith-Oh, will showcase her concerto at the Percussionist Ensemble Concert on May 22.
Meet the Competition Winners, the Runner-Up and the Honorable Mentions below, and mark the recital and concert dates on your calendars. You will not want to miss these spectacular upcoming events and the chance to support these special WYSO musicians.
Youth Orchestra Competition Winner
AVA KENNEY, VIOLIN
Memorial High School Junior, Ava Kenney, began violin through Suzuki Strings of Madison and currently studies with Eugene Purdue. Ava has been featured on NPR’s From the Top, WPR’s Midday Show and WMVO – Voice of Monona’s Sunday Afternoon Live with Buzz Kemper. Ava made her solo orchestral debut at the age of 13 with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, WYSO Philharmonia Orchestra and will be performing with the Milwaukee Sympony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Middleton Community Orchestra in 2022. Ava has spent her summers at the Heifetz International Music Institute, Center Stage Strings, Northwestern Summer Violin Institute, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. She has performed in masterclasses for Danielle Belen, Madeleine Mitchell, Robert Lipsett, Ilya Kaler, Blair Milton, Violaine Melancon, Sharan Leventhal and Simon James. In addition, she enjoys chamber music, composing, performing outreach concerts and is the Arts Editor for the Sword & Shield newspaper.
Repertoire: Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47, Mvt I by Jean Sibelius
Youth Orchestra COMPETITION Runner-Up
Anais Griffith-Oh, MARIMBA
Anais Griffith-Oh is a 10th grader at Madison West High School. She is in her 5th season with WYSO and participates in full orchestra and percussion ensemble. Anais started piano at age 6, and began percussion at age 9. She currently studies percussion under Cindy Terhune. Anais won the 2019 Philharmonia concerto competition and received honorable mentions at the MSO’s Fall Youth Concerto Competition 2019 and the MSO Bolz Young Artist competition 2022 Semi Finals. Her favorite percussion instruments include marimba, darabuka, and snare drum. Outside of WYSO, she is a member of the Handphibians Handschool and enjoys crafting fantasy inspired helmets. Anais would like to thank Cindy Terhune, Jeff Stanek, Vicki Peterson Jenks, Ney Rosauro, Anthony DiSanza, Dane Crozier, Joe Greer, Thomas Ross, and her family for all their help and support in preparation for this year’s concerto season.
Repertoire: Concerto No. 2 for Marimba: Reflections and Dreams/Walking on Clouds by Ney Rosauro
Philharmonia COMPETITION Winner
Katarina Kenney, CELLO
Katarina Kenney is a 7th grader at Madison Country Day School. At the age of three, she began the cello with Flora Van Wormer through the Suzuki Method and currently studies with Cornelia Watkins. Katarina is in her third season with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras as a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra and her fifth season with the Madison Youth Choirs, where she has shared the stage with the Madison Symphony and multiple area choirs for their annual holiday concert, and most recently performed at the new Madison Youth Arts Center. Katarina has spent her summers at the Cincinnati Young Artists Cello Academy and CSI Advanced Chamber Program. She has performed in masterclasses for Yumi Kendall, Amy Barston and Linc Smelser. In addition, Katarina enjoys chamber music, art, reading and being part of the MCDS Science Olympiad team.
Repertoire: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, op. 33, Mvt I by Camille Saint-Saens
YOUTH ORCHESTRA COMPETITION
ETHAN EWER, VIOLIN
You could say my first instrument was a chopstick that I used as a conductor’s baton and would follow along with Bernstein and Levine when I was one and two watching on the tv. At the age of four, I started with the cardboard violin in the Suzuki method. During elementary and middle school I was also involved in Karate and Scouts. Over the summers I often participated in Scottish and American fiddle camps. I joined WYSO my freshman year and shocked my wrestling coach that music came first over sports. Playing under Kyle Knox and with the other great musicians in Youth has been an enriching experience. At the beginning of the summer of 2021 I attended the Interlochen violin intensive week and that exposed me to a new way to practice and I transitioned from an hour a day to up to five. I also won one of the UW music clinic scholarships and plan to use that to be able to double major in electrical engineering and violin performance. My plan is to keep the violin a significant part of my life during the future.
Repertoire: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, op.28 by Saint Saëns
YOUTH ORCHESTRA COMPETITION
WINNER: 2022 MURPHY FAMILY
Flynn Ewer, HORN
My musical interest started with Strauss, Alpine Symphony, and bath time. My musical ear training started with my brother and his Suzuki practice. I began my Suzuki violin when I was five and “suffered” through to eighth grade. I enjoyed the fiddle camps more during the summers. Scouts and Karate also took up my other extra curricular activities through to middle school. I diverted from my brother’s activities in fifth grade when I started the French horn. While I overlapped for three years with both violin and horn, when I joined WYSO in eighth grade I started to focus only on horn. I have worked my way from Concert to Philharmonia to Youth over the past four years. Last summer, attending Interlochen, reinforced my love for the role the horn plays in the orchestral setting. Since I can not get enough of orchestra horn I am subbing in both Concert and Philharmonia this year since they are in need of more horn players. I hope to continue my horn studies through college along with studying actuarial mathematics. I do still listen to Strauss and hope to one day play Ein Heldenleben.
Repertoire: Horn Concerto No.1 in E-flat minor, op.11, Mvt I by Richard Strauss
YOUTH ORCHESTRA COMPETITION
Jasper Chambreau, String BASS
Jasper Chambreau is a bassist in the WYSO Youth Orchestra. He is 16 years old and in the 11th grade. Jasper has been playing the double bass for seven years, six of which have been in WYSO. As a member of WYSO, Jasper has played five years in the Chamber Ensemble Program, and two years as part of the Youth Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Jasper won the Birch Creek concerto competition in 2020 and performed during the Birch Creek symphony session over the summer in 2021. In addition to his love of classical music, Jasper is also passionate about jazz. Jasper has played in the Middleton High School 7 o’clock jazz band for three years, and has played in jazz jams and gigs around Madison. In college, Jasper is interested in double majoring in Linguistics and Double Bass Performance.
Repertoire: Double Bass Concerto, Mvt I by Serge Koussevitzky
YOUTH ORCHESTRA COMPETITION
Sage Eckard-Lee, VIOLA
Sage Eckard-Lee is 17 years old, homeschooled, and wild about music. Sage began studying violin at age eight, adding viola in 2020, to help fill out the viola section in Philharmonia Orchestra. While she still plays violin on some occasions, she clicked with the viola, and it has become her main instrument. She gives a huge thank you to her teacher, Janet Chisholm, and everyone else who helped her get on stage tonight. When not playing or listening to music, you can often find Sage dancing, playing with her dog, or just spending time with her family. Sage is starting a youth performance company, DanceClef (danceclef.com), which combines her love of music and classical dance. Sage is also violist in the WYSO Honors Piano Quartet. This is her third year in WYSO, and she wonders what she ever did without it!
Repertoire: Viola Concerto in D major, Mvt I by Franz Anton Hoffmeister
Philharmonia Concerto COMPETITION HONORABLE MENTION
CAROLINE SAX, OBOE
Caroline Sax is a Sophomore at Middleton High School. She has been interested in music pretty much her whole life. At the age of four, she picked up her first instrument, the violin. For almost 10 years she played with Suzuki Strings of Madison and most recently took private lessons with Diana Popowycz.
In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, taking walks, listening to music, watching Youtube, and shopping online. Some of her interests include photography and film studies.Caroline took up the oboe in 5th grade and has been a student with Dr. Laura Medisky’s oboe studio since 2018. She has been a member of WYSO since 2020 and is excited to have the opportunity to be playing in person with her fellow musicians.
Repertoire: Concerto in C minor, Mvt I and II by Benedetto Marcello
Philharmonia COMPETITION HONORABLE MENTION
EUNICE CHUNG, CELLO
Eunice Chung is currently a 14-year old freshman at Middleton High School. She has been playing cello since she was 9 years old. The 2021-2022 season is her second year of being a part of WYSO and she is very grateful to have been accepted into the Philharmonia Orchestra. Along with playing the cello, her other pastimes are reading, writing, watching movies, and playing badminton with her family and friends. Her gratitude will always be given to her parents, older sister, friends, teachers (especially Mark Bridges, who she’s been studying under for 3 years), conductors, and everyone else who has given their time to support her.
Repertoire: Elegie, op. 24 by Gabriel Faure
MONROE DURAND, VIOLA
Monroe Durand is a junior at Middleton High School. He has played the viola since fourth grade and takes private lessons with Melanie de Jesus who is an excellent teacher and mentor. Monroe is an Eagle Scout with BSA Troop 87 and has been active in Scouting since early elementary school. He is passionate about the environment and received a BSA award for Environmental Excellence for his work raising awareness about New Zealand mudsnails in Wisconsin’s trout streams. He is also the Vice President of Middleton’s Model UN club. Beyond classical music, Monroe enjoys listening to punk and electric music but hasn’t tried his hand at performing either. For entertainment, he enjoys reading science fiction and political literature. Monroe considers himself an environmentalist and is equal parts hopeful and pessimistic about the future.
Repertoire: Suite for Viola and Orchestra, Group One, Mvt I by Vaughan Williams
Philharmonia COMPETITION HONORABLE MENTION
LORENZ FRADKIN-ANNEN, VIOLIN
Lorenz Fradkin-Annen, 11, attends Rome Corners Intermediate in Oregon, WI. When she was three and a half, she attended her oldest sibling’s school orchestra concert and then begged her parents for violin lessons for an entire school year before they gave in and found her a private teacher. Lorenz also performs in Mad Fiddle, a violin ensemble led by Shauncey Ali. She received Honorable Mention in the 2021 Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Fall Youth Concerto Competition. In 2020 she was the Intermediate winner of the Nie Young Artist Scholarship Competition (violin) and is a past winner of the Rhapsody Arts Center’s Sonatina Festival (piano). Lorenz currently studies violin with Eugene Purdue, piano with Daniel Lyons, and bassoon with Max Greenleaf. She also enjoys playing the string bass and when not practicing music, she can be found writing computer code. Someday she would like to write and perform music for a movie.
Repertoire: Violin Concerto in C major, op. 48, Mvt III by Dmitry Kabalevsky