Rochester, NY – On Saturday, March 14, student-musicians who live or study in the nine-county area competed for awards and recognition in the annual Rochester Philharmonic League’s Young Artist Audition, with five high school students emerging triumphant. The big winner, Joseph Mohan of Akron, NY, received the top Special Award — as well as the Ness Award — for his piano abilities, which grants him the opportunity to audition for an appearance with the RPO. The two multiple award-winners were Brighton violinist Christen Greer (the Albright Award and the Aldridge-Tinker Scholarship) and vocalist Oscia Wiles from the City of Rochester (the Martin Award and the DeGaetani Scholarship).
In addition to the prestigious Special Award, the other seven prizes were five $500 cash awards granted to each category winner, and two $1,000 scholarships (for vocal and instrumental performance), awarded to high school seniors who plan to pursue music at an accredited college or university in the 2009-10 school year. More than 40 students auditioned for a variety of judges including RPO players, Eastman School of Music faculty members and Eastman Community Music School teachers as well as professional educators from the Rochester area. The category award winners and their schools are as follows:
• Tenor Jay Louis Dref (Allen Award – Male Vocal); senior at the Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts, from Buffalo
• Violinist Christen Greer (Albright Award – Strings, and Aldridge-Tinker Scholarship – Instrumental), senior at Summit Christian Academy from Brighton
• Harpist Sarah Kramer (Greer Award – Instrumental); junior at Harley School from Brighton
• Pianist Joseph Mohan (Special Award and Ness Award – Piano) junior at Clarence High School from Akron, NY
• Soprano Oscia Wiles (Martin Award – Female Vocal, and DeGaetani Scholarship – Vocal); senior at School of the Arts from Rochester
The RPL also congratulates the category runners-up, noting a tie in the Albright Award for strings category:
• Vocalist Matthew DiDonna (Allen Award); senior at McQuaid Jesuit from Rochester
• Soprano Katherine Edinger (Martin Award); junior at Greece Athena from Greece
• Violinist Francesca Felton (Albright Award tie); senior at Allendale-Columbia from Pittsford
• Flutist Melissa Mashner (Greer Award); sophomore at Brighton High School from Brighton
• Double-bassist Louisa Womack (Albright Award tie); home-schooled junior from Brighton
• Pianist Harvest Zhang (Ness Award); junior at Brighton High School
The Rochester Philharmonic League was founded in 1929 as a support group for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. For more than 75 years, the two organizations have worked closely together to further the common goal of providing great music and music education for the community. The League’s activities focus on educating young people about music and our orchestra, and on fostering the advancement of music talent in our youth.