2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition

Congratulations to our 2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition Winners!

2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition Winners

 

 

Overall Winner – Buttram Award Grand Prize – Sophie Deng, cello


Senior Division

Upper Strings
Buttram Award 1st Prize – Laura Pollack, violin
Buttram Award 2nd Prize – Alice Hsu, violin
Buttram Award 3rd Prize – Jordan Fletcher, viola

Lower Strings
Buttram Award 1st Prize – Sophie Deng, cello
Buttram Award 2nd Prize – Christina Ge, cello
Buttram Award 3rd Prize – Lily Coyer, cello

Piano
Meinders Award 1st Prize – Julia Janknecht
Meinders Award 2nd Prize – Joyce Yang
Meinders Award 3rd Prize – Lara Macdonald

Woodwind/Brass
Carver Award 1st Prize – London Stovall, horn (2nd Runner-Up Overall)
Carver Award 2nd Prize – Jenny Nguyen, flute
Carver Award 3rd Prize – Norah Hager, trombone

Classical Guitar
Haire Award 1st Prize – Jonathan (Alex) Teague
Haire Award 2nd Prize – Blake Bussey
Haire Award 3rd Prize – Ignacio Cortez Hernandez

Junior Division

Strings
Keith Award 1st Prize – Stephan Zhang, violin (1st Runner-Up Overall)
Keith Award 2nd Prize – Eden Bales, violin
Keith Award 3rd Prize – Nina Hsu, violin

Piano
Gilliam Award 1st Prize – Yihan Zhang
Gilliam Award 2nd Prize – Nick Du
Gilliam Award 3rd Prize – Luca Maddox-Diaz

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic, along with the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, is pleased to announce the 2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition, presented as part of the OKCPHIL’s Education and Community Engagement programs. This year’s Competition will include several new features, so be sure to carefully review the information listed here. 

Oklahoma’s student instrumentalists in grades 9 – 12, as well as piano and string students in grades 5 – 8, will compete in a Covid-safe video first round and a public, in-person finalist round for a chance to win cash prizes and opportunities to perform at OKCPHIL events. Additionally, the overall winner will perform as a featured soloist with the OKCPHIL orchestra next season!

The OKCPHIL is truly excited to welcome back Oklahoma students to participate in this long-standing, treasured program. For more information about the OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition, email competition@okcphil.org.

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Henry Ingels, winner of the 2020 Buttram Competition, performs with the OKCPHIL orchestra at Scissortail Park

Important Dates

January 30, 2022 Entry Deadline
March 2022 Finalists Announced
April 24, 2022 Final Round at Oklahoma City University

Competition Underwriters

We gratefully acknowledge the generous Underwriters and their support of the Competition:

Randy and Kathy Buttram
in memory of Dorsey and Phyllis Buttram and Frank and Merle Buttram
Buttram Award – Overall Competition Winner
Buttram Award – Upper Strings Senior Division
Buttram Award – Lower Strings Senior Division

Mr. and Mrs. R. Drake Keith
Keith Award – Strings Junior Division

Lisa Carver Collins
in memory of Patricia Hall Abney and Lauren Carver
Carver Award – Woodwind/Brass Senior Division

Mike and Wanda Gilliam
Gilliam Award – Piano Junior Division

Herman Meinders
in honor of LaDonna Meinders
Meinders Award – Piano Senior Division

William H. Haire, his children, and Paul Theisen
in memory of their wife, mother and sister, Donna Marie Haire
Haire Award – Classical Guitar Senior Division


Thank You

We would like to thank the following for their support and contributions to making this year’s competition a success!

Oklahoma City Orchestra League & Education VP, Sherry Rowan
Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School of Music
2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition First Round Judges
OKCPHIL Volunteers
OKCPHIL Education & Community Engagement Sponsors
2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition Underwriters

Final Round Schedule
8:30 Check-In Begins

Final Round
Adjudication Panel

Dr. John Patrick Murphy
Assistant Professor of Music (Piano and Piano Pedagogy) – University of Oklahoma

Jay Wilkinson
OKCPHIL Trumpet

Katrin Stamatis
OKCPHIL Principal Second Violin
McCasland Foundation Chair

Dr. Jonathan Ruck
OKCPHIL Principal Cello
Orchestra League Chair

Alexander Mickelthwate
OKCPHIL Music Director and Conductor

9:30 Yihan Zhang
Junior Piano
9:40 Luca Maddox-Diaz
9:50 Nick Du
10:10 Stephan Zhang
Junior Strings
10:20 Eden Bales
10:30 Nina Hsu
11:00 Christina Ge
Senior Lower Strings
11:10 Lily Coyer
11:20 Sophie Deng
11:40 Laura Pollack
Senior Upper Strings
11:50 Alice Hsu
12:00 Jordan Fletcher
1:00 Blake Bussey
Classical Guitar
1:10 Ignacio Cortez Hernandez
1:20 Jonathan (Alex) Teague
1:40 London Stovall
Woodwind/Brass
1:50 Norah Hager
2:00 Jenny Nguyen
2:20 Julia Janknecht
Senior Piano
2:30 Joyce Yang
2:40 Lara Macdonald
3:30 Awards

Schedule Information: Time slots were assigned at random. Finalists may arrive to the Bass Center atrium as early as 8:30 am to check in, warm up, watch other performances, etc, and must check in no later than 30 minutes prior to their scheduled slot. Family and friends are welcome to attend and should plan to arrive early in case things run ahead of schedule. All finalists are encouraged to attend the 3:30 Awards Ceremony.

Schedule Information: Time slots were assigned at random. Finalists may arrive to the Bass Center atrium as early as 8:30 am to check in, warm up, watch other performances, etc, and must check in no later than 30 minutes prior to their scheduled slot. Family and friends are welcome to attend and should plan to arrive early in case things run ahead of schedule. All finalists are encouraged to attend the 3:30 Awards Ceremony.

Final Round Repertoire: Students will perform two, preferably contrasting, pieces. Finalists are not required to perform the same pieces submitted in the first round. Full performance should not exceed 10 minutes, and appropriate repertoire cuts are permitted to fit the time requirement. Memorization is required with live accompaniment, if piece is accompanied.

If accompaniment is needed, you should arrange for your own accompanist (no pre-recorded accompaniment). Accompanists should cut all long piano-only passages. If securing an accompanist proves difficult for any reason, please email competition@okcphil.org for assistance.

Meet the Judges
Dr. John Patrick Murphy
Assistant Professor of Music, Piano (Piano and Piano Pedagogy)  – University of Oklahoma

Dr. Murphy teaches applied piano and graduate piano pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, SUNY Fredonia, and the Manhattan School of Music. He completed additional studies at the Golandsky Institute and the Orford Music Academy.

Jay Wilkinson
OKCPHIL Trumpet, Coordinator of Jazz Studies – University of Oklahoma

Performer and composer Jay Wilkinson received his Master of Music in trumpet performance from the University of Oklahoma. Wilkinson has participated at various local jazz festivals as a judge, clinician, and artist; been a featured performer at the Oklahoma Music Educator’s National Conference; and has judged at the National Trumpet Competition.

Dr. Katrin Stamatis
OKCPHIL Principal Second Violin, McCasland Foundation Chair

Dr. Stamatis attended Barnard College for undergrad in a joint program with Manhattan School of Music and received a Masters from Mannes College and Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. She serves on faculty for academies across the country while maintaining a private studio in Norman. She is also on faculty for the Summer String Academy at OU and performs locally with Brightmusic chamber ensemble.

Dr. Jonathan Ruck
OKCPHIL Principal Cello, Orchestra League Chair, Professor of Cello – University of Oklahoma

Dr. Ruck earned three academic degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and now enjoys an extensive and balanced career, performing internationally as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician.  He previously held academic appointments at Depauw University and Hampden-Sydney College.

Alexander Mickelthwate
OKCPHIL Music Director and Conductor

Originally from Germany, Mickelthwate is also Music Director Emeritus of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada. Alexander received his degree from the Peabody Institute of Music. Following his tenure as Assistant Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which he completed in 2004, Alexander was Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for three years before starting his Winnipeg tenure in 2006.

Competition History

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic is proud to continue the tradition of presenting a competition for talented young Oklahoma musicians, tracing its roots back many decades. 

In 1958, the Bloch Auditions, founded by Mrs. Jules Bloch, was renamed the “Young Artists Auditions” under the joint sponsorship of the Women’s Committee and the Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs. The Women’s Committee hosted this program annually from 1960 to 1985. In 1987, the Women’s Committee became the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, and they sponsored the “Eight State Concerto Competitions” in alternating years for all orchestral musicians through age 26 until 1995.  In 1997, the League combined the longstanding “Buttram String Awards”, “Keith Awards”, and the “Young People’s Concerto Competition” to be held on the same day, under the name of the “Oklahoma Music Olympics”. Eventually named the “OCOL Music Competitions”, these prestigious, simultaneous competitions were presented by the League through February of 2020. 

Today, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic is honored to continue the tradition in partnership with the League, following the merger of the two organizations. This year, the OKCPHIL relaunched the Competition for young Oklahoma musicians, after a year-long hiatus caused by the pandemic. Moving forward, the Competition will continue to build upon the Orchestra League’s longstanding history and success, while providing unparalleled recognition and performance opportunities for the young Musicians of our state.  

With support and guidance of the League, this year’s structure returns to that of the original format, combining numerous separate divisions into one unified “Young Musicians Competition.” The Awards are named for treasured competition founders and supporters to honor their legacy and generosity, both in the past and present. 

For generations, regardless of its formal title, this special program has impacted young musicians of Oklahoma, boasting a winner’s list of fine musicians who went on to teach and perform with various orchestras across the country.  However, Margaret Keith reminds us that the true winner is our community: “You will find many of the Music Competition winners among our city’s teachers, instructors, and our own outstanding Oklahoma City Philharmonic, which means our gift of music has been given back to us many times over.”

Overview of Awards:

Buttram Award: Merle Buttram, a former Professor of Violin at the University of Oklahoma, was a founder and member of the Ladies Music Club String Orchestra that grew to become the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra in 1924. Concerned with the lack of young people studying string instruments, Mrs. Buttram, along with her husband, Frank, created the “Oklahoma Strings Awards” for elementary and high school students in 1964, which would become the “Buttram Strings Awards” for high school students in 1968. Today, Randy and Kathy Buttram follow the tradition of Randy’s parents, Dorsey and Phyllis, to continue the Buttram Awards in honor of Randy’s grandparents, Frank and Merle Buttram.

Keith Award: In 1980, Mr. and Mrs. R. Drake Keith initiated the junior high Keith Awards. Margaret Keith, a Suzuki violin teacher, noted the increased dropout rate of students during middle school and felt that a competition would encourage the development of talented young musicians. In later years, the competition included all students in 8th grade and below, some as young as 6.

Carver Award: The “Young People’s Concerto Auditions,” a high school competition for orchestral instrumentalists, began in 1970. In 1999 it evolved into the “Lauren Carver Concerto Competition” for piano, woodwinds, and brass, sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Abney in memory of her daughter. It eventually transitioned into the “Carver Competition” for brass, harp, woodwinds and percussion. Today, Ms. Lisa Carver Collins, daughter of Mrs. Abney, continues the family’s support. 

Meinders Award: In 2002, the high school piano division was given its separate designation as the “Meinders Piano Competition,” made possible by a gift from Herman Meinders in honor of his wife, LaDonna Meinders, a Past President of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League. 

Gilliam Award: In 2010, Mike and Wanda Gilliam became benefactors of the “Gilliam Piano Competition” for young students through 8th grade.  

Haire Award: The Donna Marie Haire Competition for classical guitar began in 2011 with a gift from William H. Haire, his children, and Paul Theisen in memory of their wife, mother and sister, Donna Marie Haire. 

This historical overview was compiled from Competition records donated by the Oklahoma City Orchestra League. We welcome corrections and additions, as we are passionate to learn more of our story – please contact OKCPHIL Education Manager, Jeana Gering, with information.

Teachers of Participants

 

Rod Ackmann
Gena Alexander
Dr. Meredith Blecha-Wells
Jenn Bounds
Marat Gabdullin
Jeff Hicks
Terri Hlubek
Kelli Ingles

Mark Jenkins
RuiRui Johnson
Karen Khanagov
Jeff Kidwell
Gregory Lee
Angelika Machnik-Jones
Ryan Malone
Juliana Overmier
Parthena Owens

Jennifer Mihee Song
Scott Sunderman
Peter Nguyen
Lesa Steele
William VerMeulen
Dr. Lori Wooden
Dr. Shaohong Betty Yuan
Amy Zuback

 


Eligibility

Students who live in Oklahoma and meet the age/grade requirements of the particular competition category are eligible to participate.

Categories

Senior Division (grades 9 – 12, ages 18 and under)

  • Upper Strings
  • Lower Strings
  • Woodwinds and Brass
  • Piano
  • Other (guitar, percussion, harp, etc.)

Junior Division (grades 5 – 8, ages 14 and under)

  • Strings
  • Piano

*Note – no ensemble competitions will be held this year due to Covid-19 safety concerns

Students are permitted to compete in more than one category.

Competition Procedure
  • Students submit their video online according to instructions posted on the OKCPHIL website.
    • No limitations or cap on the number of competitors. All complete submissions received before the deadline will be evaluated.
  • Judges evaluate videos and choose the top three finalists in each category.
    • Finalists will be notified via email, and a list will be posted on the OKCPHIL website
    • All entrants will receive judges’ comments.
  • Finalists perform in an in-person final round that is open to the public.
    • Finalists are not required to perform the same pieces submitted in the first round.
  • Winners are announced, and prizes are distributed at an awards ceremony immediately following the final round.
Submission Requirements

Students will submit one video performing two, preferably contrasting, pieces. Full performance should not exceed 10 minutes, and appropriate repertoire cuts are permitted to fit the time requirement. See below for suggested repertoire levels for each instrument. Memorization and accompaniment are optional in the first round.

In the video, students should not say their name or any identifiable information, but should state the name of each piece before playing (ex. “Today I will perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major.” “I will now perform the first movement of Mozart’s Sonata in F Major.”). It is acceptable to include this information as written text in the video.

Pieces should be recorded consecutively, within the same take, without pausing the camera. Editing or alteration of the performance audio or video is prohibited. There should be no identifiable information, written or verbal, within the video (including name, school, teacher name, organization memberships, etc.). See below for more recording guidelines.

Entry fee per submission: $15

Awards

Overall Winner

  • $750 and a performance as a featured soloist with the OKCPHIL orchestra next season (in addition to their first-place category award)

Senior Division (per category)

All finalists will receive a medal and potential performing opportunities next season at OKCPHIL events.

  • 1st place – $500
  • 2nd place – $250
  • 3rd place – $100

Junior Division (per category)

All finalists will receive a medal and potential performing opportunities next season at OKCPHIL events.

  • 1st place – $200
  • 2nd place – $125
  • 3rd place – $75

Winner performances are arranged at the discretion of the OKCPHIL as concerts and events are programmed on various timelines throughout the season, depending on scheduling, event needs, and Covid-19 safety concerns..

  • Performances are scheduled in as far advance as possible.
  • Students and their teachers will collaborate on performance repertoire with OKCPHIL staff and/or conductor and will not necessarily need to be the same pieces played in competition.
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Entry Form – 2022 OKCPHIL Young Musician Competition

 
This form is no longer accepting submissions. Submission window closed on January 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM.