Past Finalists

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Julia Byrd

Lenoir-Rhyne University - Julia Byrd began receiving piano lessons at the age of 10 and has studied with pianists Kathryn Starnes, Jonathan Beal, and Amy Smith. Julia received a superior rating from the Piano Guild at the age of 15 and began receiving lessons from Dr. John Cheek at 16. She is currently a senior at Lenoir Rhyne University and is pursuing a degree in piano performance under the instruc@on of Dr. Cheek. In the summer of ’08 Julia received a summer music study scholarship from Lenoir Rhyne, and this scholarship enabled her to spend a week at Orford Academy in Quebec studying under performer Maneli Pirzadeh.Julia has been the recipient of several other scholarships while at Lenoir Rhyne, including the Charles and Marie Rast Music Scholarship and the... [read more]
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Katherine Edahl

Ms. Katherine Edahl, 22 of Charlotte, began studying voice under the direction of Dr. Joseph Amaya of Appalachian State University in 2006. She has received her bachelors degree from Appalachian, and is continuing to seek her masters at the same institution. She has performed an array of roles, including Anna Maurrant from Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Despina from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Fiordiligi from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, the Mother from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Adina from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, and Suor Angelica from Puccini’s Suor Angelica. In 2009 and 2010 she was asked to attend American Singers’ Opera Project (ASOP) under the direction of Ms.... [read more]
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Louise Grevin

French cellist Louise Grévin has studied in Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse. Most recently, she has played with l’Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse, and has appeared as a soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of the Toulouse Music Academy. She is currently a graduate student at the UNC School of the Arts. [read more]
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Henry Michaels

Henry Michaels is a native of Morganton, NC and is currently a music performance major at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Michaels has performed with the Lenoir-Rhyne University Concert Band, Harper Youth Wind Ensemble, Lenoir-Rhyne Brass Ensemble, Western Piedmont Youth Symphony, and in the pit for several shows at the Hickory Community Theatre. In January of 2010 he was a part-time participant in Haim Avitsur’s Winter-Summer Trombone Workshop and in the summer of 2010 he was accepted as a full participant in the Summer Trombone Workshop. In these workshops Michaels had the privilege to work with trombonists Haim Avitsur, Nitzan Haroz, and David Taylor during nine days of intensive study. In the spring of 2010 he performed Ferdinand David... [read more]
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Bradley Plesz

Appalachian State University - Mr. Plesz is currently a Percussion Performance major at Appalachian State University. While studying percussion for eleven years he has encountered various ensembles, each requiring a different genre of study. His passion has led to numerous opportunities that will be useful in applying his skills to virtually any style of music.Mr. Plesz is an alumni of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps with his last season celebrating their 70th anniversary. He plans to attend graduate school to study jazz drum set with the aspirations in becoming a studio musician. He is a member of the New Paradigm Percussion Quartet at Appalachian State and is also associated with other various ensembles throughout the Hayes School of Music including the Jazz... [read more]
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Ben Robinette

Ben Robinette is currently in his second year of graduate studies in Saxophone Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he serves as the teaching assistant to Professor Taimur Sullivan. He began his studies in 1999 with Dr. Timothy Roberts, principal saxophonist of the United States Navy Band, and continued his studies at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville under Dr. Connie Frigo. He graduated from UT in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance.At The University of Tennessee, he twice won the university’s concerto competition, received the School of Music's award for woodwind performance excellence three times in a row, and was awarded several outside performance scholarships. Cultivating... [read more]