By Stephanie D. Wilson—
Muncie, IN—The world seems a little bleak right now. Yet wonderful things are happening with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and 26 young people from around the State of Indiana.
The Muncie Symphony Orchestra hosted a Young Artist Competition on Sunday, January 17, 2021 in Sursa Hall on the campus of Ball State University for 26 young artists. According to the Dr. James Thompson, education coordinator for the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Young Artist Competition provides a professional-level performance opportunity for pre-college musicians from across the state of Indiana.
Students prepare for months to perform a solo from memory in front of a panel of expert judges. Dr. Thompson said, “The skill level of these young performers is absolutely astonishing.”
Many of the competitors will go on to prestigious music programs including the Juilliard School. In previous years, MSO has had up to 12 students participating, but this year MSO hosted 26 talented young musicians. Winners received the following cash prizes:
· NEW DIVISION THIS YEAR – Elementary Division —Grades 3-6— Winner receives $100
· Junior Division —Grades 6-8— Winner receives $250
· Senior Division —Grades 9-12— Winner receives $500
Winners may be eligible to perform their piece with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra during a concert next season or another performance opportunity.
Elementary Division (3rd-5th grade)
Winner: Alice Zheng —5th grade violinist from Bloomington.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Lee —5th grade pianist from Carmel.
Junior Division (6th-8th grade)
Winner: Lily Sullivan —8th grade violinist from Bloomington.
Honorable Mention: Max Salzinger —8th grade cellist from Carmel.
Senior Division (9th-12th grade)
Winner: Cooper Olsen —9th grade violinist from Bloomington. Cooper was last year’s winner of the Junior Division of the competition.
Honorable Mention: Abigail Ko —Abigail is an 11th grade violinist from Carmel.
Honorable Mention: Zhe (Elson) Koh —10th grade violinist from Bloomington.
Scott Jordan, President of the Board of Directors for the Muncie Symphony Orchestra said, “The Muncie Symphony Orchestra remains focused on our mission to entertain, educate, and enrich quality of life in East Central Indiana through meaningful, professional musical experiences. I would like to thank everyone involved in the Young Artist Competition.”