2008 Festival Participants

Picture of Amy AndersonAmy Anderson, daughter of Catherine Anderson, is a twelfth grader at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Born in Durban, South Africa, she immigrated to the United States when she was six and began piano lessons at the age of nine. She also attended the Brevard Music Center and several chamber workshops and festivals both here and abroad. She was the winner of the Charlotte Piano Teachers’ Forum Auditions in the senior solo, graduating senior solo, and senior concerto categories, and twice the winner of the Charlotte Music Club Scholarship Competition. Amy made her debut with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in 2005 with the Grieg Concerto in A Minor. She has studied with Mary Boyd and currently studies with Clifton Matthews at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Picture of Stephanie AstonStephanie Aston, daughter of Sharolynn and Terry Aston, is an eighth grader at South Hills Middle School in Riverton, Utah, and lives in Bluffdale. She has studied piano for eight years, completing all but the tenth level of the UMTA’s AIM program. Stephanie has participated in the Utah State University Piano Festival, Weber State University Piano Festival, and the UMTA Future Music Teachers Competition, and has, in addition, been involved with events connected with FAIM and the National Federation of Music Clubs. She also plays the violin and is involved in a chamber group. She currently studies piano with Catherine Thacker.

Picture of Joshua BrooksJoshua Brooks, son of John Brooks and Deborah Wechsler, is an eleventh grader at Woods Charter School who lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina. He began his piano studies at the age of eight. In 2008, he was a winner of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition and performed with the orchestra in March 2008. In 2007, he was the winner of the Music Teachers National Association state competition for senior piano, representing North Carolina at the regional competition in January 2008. In February 2007, he was solo performer for the Make A Wish Foundation’s Wish Ball. He has recorded for WDAV Radio (Davidson, NC) for the “Main Street Sessions” program featuring gifted students from across North Carolina. He currently studies with Greg McCallum.

Picture of Naomi CausbyNaomi Causby, daughter of Tom and Suzie Causby, is an eighth grader at Ben Lippen Middle School in Columbia, SC. In addition to her award in the Afternoon, Eau Claire and Morning Music Clubs Scholarship Auditions, she has participated successfully in the MTNA Junior Competitions and the SCMTA District and State, SC Federation of Music Clubs, and Columbia Music Teachers Association Scholarship Auditions. Three times she has been chosen in the SC Piano Festival Auditions to appear as soloist on SCETV. In 2007, Naomi competed in the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose, CA, and also appeared in Columbia as pianist with the Sterling Chamber Players. In summer of 2007 she attended the Interlochen Summer Music Academy, studying under Dr. Ani Gogova and attending master classes with Norman Kreiger and Ian Hobson, and plans to return this year. Naomi currently studies with Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers.

Picture of Carolyn Anne ColtonCarolyn Anne Colton, daughter of Ken Colton and Nancy Bridges-Colton, is a tenth grader at Walt Whitman High School. She was the alternate in the MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition for the state of Virginia in 2004 and Second Prize winner in the Northeastern Division in 2007. As a winner in the American Fine Arts Festival, she performed as soloist in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She received first prize in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Concerto Competition and has been a laureate in many other competitions, including the Asian American International, where she placed third this year. Carolyn is the grand prizewinner in the 2008 Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Concerto Competition, where she played Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and will perform with the orchestra in October. Currently, she studies with Santiago Rodriguez at the University of Maryland.

Picture of Baron FenwickBaron Fenwick, son of Cindy Norris and Jay Fenwick, is an eighth grader who will be entering the North Carolina School of the Arts for his high school academic studies in the fall of 2008, pursuing a major in piano. He began piano study at the age of five. In 2006, he was a finalist in the North Carolina Symphony Concerto Competition, playing Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1. He has also performed as a soloist with the Western Piedmont Youth Symphony, playing Haydn’s Concerto in D Major. Baron also studies violin and viola with Professor Eric Koontz and is currently a member of the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra. Since 2004, he has studied piano with Bair Shagdaron at Appalachian State University.

Picture of Joshua GreerJoshua Greer, son of Brenda and Jeff Greer, is a twelfth grader at Grace Christian School. He has studied piano for nine years. For the last eight years he has played in the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools (SCACS) Competition, where he placed among the top three competitors each year in both Junior High and Senior High divisions. For the past two years, he has also participated in the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) Competition, and this winter he performed in the Guthman Piano Competition at Georgia Tech. Josh is currently studying with David Edwards.

Picture of Jonathan HarperJonathan Harper, son of Greg and Allison Harper, is an eleventh grader at Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Calhoun, GA. He began piano study at the age of eight. Jonathan has been accompanying choirs since the seventh grade and currently accompanies the GCA Chorale and Camerata. He performed with the Southern Adventist University Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2007 as a winner in their concerto competition. During that same period, he was a semifinalist in the Daniel Piano Competition at Furman University, and was the conference recitalist at the GMTA piano competition. Later that year, he won first place in the Georgia MTNA solo piano competition. Jonathan currently studies with Helen Ramsaur, a retired professor at Shorter College, in Rome, GA.

Picture of Cwen HomaCwen Homa, daughter of Rose and Carl Homa, is a home-schooled tenth grader who grew up in rural Michigan and began piano lessons at age six. Cwen is a member of the Lansing Matinee Musicale Performing Arts Students where she won scholarships in three competitions: the Emma Grant Zimmer Junior Piano Award (First Prize), the Louise Freyhofer Senior Piano Award (Second Prize), and the Margaret Denise Piano Award (First Prize) earlier this year. In 2005, she was chosen to perform for the MSU Community Music School Benefit Concert. In May 2006, she played her first solo recital at MSU, and in April 2007, she won Honorable Mention in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Competition. Cwen has received a scholarship to attend Interlochen’s 2008 Summer Music Camp. She has studied during the past four years with Deborah Moriarty at Michigan State University.

Picture of William HueholtWilliam Hueholt, son of David and Therese Hueholt, is home-schooled ninth grader who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina and has studied piano for eleven years. William placed in the Music Teachers National Association Junior Performance Competition three times: 2005 State Winner, 2006 State Alternate, and 2007-08 State Winner and Southern Division Alternate. He was the 2006 Richard R. Deas Student Concerto Competition Junior winner and as a result performed with the Wilmington Youth Symphony Orchestra in May 2007. William has served as pianist for the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, and has been a featured Focus on Piano Literature soloist at UNC-Greensboro twice, as well as a guest artist of WHQR Public Radio and The Beat magazine. He has performed frequent solo recitals since the age of six and also serves as the pianist for his church. For the past seven years, he has studied with Barbara Furr.

Picture of Jiwon LimJiwon Lim, daughter of Joon-Hyeuk and Young-Soon Lim, is an eleventh grader at Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. A native of Korea, she moved to the United States in the fall of 2005. She has been studying the piano since she was five and has participated in several competitions and music camps. She was a participant in the 2007 Southeastern Piano Festival hosted by the University of South Carolina. Recently she won the 2008 Symphony Guild of Charlotte’s Young Artists Competition and appeared as a soloist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. She also serves as a choir accompanist at her school and the Church of the True Light. She currently studies with Seung-Ah Kim.

Picture of Roman LinRoman Lin, son of Sean Lin, is an eighth grader at Williams Middle School in Florence, SC. He has been a participant in the SCMTA Piano Festival, Florence Piano Festival, the Young Artist Competition, and the MTNA Piano Competition, among others. In addition to his work as a solo pianist, he has participated in orchestras and chamber groups. He also has studied the violin for nine years and has an interest in composition. For the past eight years, he has studied piano with Linda MacKenzie.

Picture of Hanbo LiuHanbo Liu, son of Xue Liu and Riumin Wang, is a tenth grader at Fairfax High School, in Virginia. He has been a prize winner of the Daniel Piano Competition, Lee Piano Competition, Beethoven Society's Annual Maria Fisher Piano Competition, and numerous other state and local competitions. Hanbo has appeared in recitals at the Goodwin House Stewart Recital Series, George Mason University’s Performing Arts Center, Harris Theatre, and Alden Theatre in Virginia and Maryland. He made his orchestra debut with the Little River Symphony in Virginia and currently studies with Rosita Kerr Mang.

Picture of Nathan LongNathan Long, son of Gordon and Grace Long, is an eleventh grader at St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas, and began studying piano at the age of five. His many awards include first place in both Sonata and Concerto divisions of the Dallas Symphonic Festival, third place in the TMTA Student Affiliate Piano Solo Contest, and third place in the Starr Young Artist Piano Competition in Fayetteville, Arkansas (2008). Currently he is the local and district winner of the TMTA eleventh-twelfth grade solo division and will compete in the State Convention this summer. He has performed in many piano master classes in Texas and in international piano academies and festivals with such teachers as Julian Martin, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Robert Weirich, Marc Durand, Joan Haverill (London), Vitaly Margulis, Jura Margulis, Luiz de Moura Castro, and Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff. He is a student of Dr. Tamas Ungar at Texas Christian University.

Picture of Peter MathysPeter Mathys, son of Peter and Elena Mathys, is a ninth-grader at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado. He was a winner of the Kawai Piano Competition in May 2007, and attended the International Piano Fest in Portland where he participated in a master class with Paul Roberts (England). In September 2007 he played in a master class with Olga Kern in Denver. For the last five years Peter has been selected to perform at the Boulder Bach Festival, and he was a winner of the Boulder Bach Festival Young Artist Competition in 2006. Several times, most recently in 2008, he was a winner of the Yamaha Piano Competition, and also of the 2005 CSMTA Piano Competition. In 2006 he won first prize at the Steinway Piano Concerto Competition and performed the finale of the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver. He currently studies with Elena Mathys and Larry Graham.

Picture of Dan OverlyDan Overly, son of Paul and Debra-Ann Overly, is a twelfth grader at Bob Jones Academy and lives in Greenville, South Carolina. Dan has won many of the competitions in the Bob Jones pre-college program. Additionally, he was named the Alternate in the Junior division of the state MTNA competition in 2004 as well as the Winner of the Ernestine Phillips Smith Scholarship in 2006. Dan especially enjoys collaborative piano work and premiered award-winning composer Dan Forrest’s Sonata for Trombone and Piano. This past fall, he joined Dr. Mike Hall, trombone professor at Old Dominion University, in recitals at Anderson University and Bob Jones University. Dan has distinguished himself as a trombonist, winning first chair in the 2008 South Carolina All-State Band. He has studied piano with Peter Davis and currently studies with David Lehman.

Picture of Andrew SohnAndrew Sohn, son of Min-Seok and Mee-Sung Sohn, is an eleventh grader in the IB program at Eastside High School in Gainesville, Florida. He was born in Australia and after moving to Gainesville in 2004 began serious study of the piano. In Gainesville, he won the Betsy Schnell Youth Award, and accompanied vocalists from Eastside High School. He has also won the Florida State Music Teachers Association in solo division DII. Since 2006, he has annually played at the regional festival in Gainesville and received a consistent "Superior" ranking for Solo and Concerto. In 2007, he attended the Indiana University Piano Academy. He frequently performs in local recitals and in his church, including such special events as entertainment for Korean War veterans. He has been studying for almost four years with Soomee Yoon.

Picture of Ashley ThackerAshley Thacker, daughter of Kent and Catherine Thacker, is a tenth grader at Jordan High School in Sandy, UT. She began her piano studies at the age of four with her mother. Ashley was a prizewinner in the Weber State Piano Competition, the UMTA Concerto Competition, and the Future Music Teachers Competition, and she won first place in the Weber State University Competition (High School Division) this spring. She has also performed multiple times in UMTA Conference Honors Recitals. Ashley is a member of the South Mountain Piano Quartet and has toured northern and southern California, Las Vegas, and southern Utah as a member of this performing group. She currently studies with Dr. Yu-Jane Yang at Weber State University in Ogden, UT.

Picture of Gregory WangGregory Wang, son of Dorothy and Bo Wang, is an eleventh grader at Science Hill High School who began his piano studies in the second grade. His past awards include being named a TMTA solo winner over several years as well as winner of the TMTA Concerto Competition during the past five consecutive years. He was runner-up in the 2005 MTNA Southern Division Baldwin Junior Performance Competition and received second prizes in Lee University’s Piano Competition in 2006 and 2007. Gregory is a past winner of the Knoxville Choral Society’s Young Classical Musicians Competition. He has performed with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and the Maryville Symphony Orchestra, and in 2007, performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor with the South Carolina Philharmonic. Since the third grade, he has studied at Tennessee State University with Dr. Benjamin Caton.

Picture of Gregory WangRebecca Willett, daughter of Scott and Kimberly Willett, is a 13 year old home-schooled eighth grader who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She began studying piano at age four with Melody Diehl, and attended the Louisville Piano Summer Institute annually from 1998-2007. She was selected as a performer in the Sacramento 10-piano concert in 2003 and 2007 and was also invited to perform in Matsumoto, Japan in their 2006 10-piano concert. As a soloist, she has performed for the Young Musician’s Showcase of the Virginia Symphony in 2003 and 2007. In addition to piano, Rebecca is also an accomplished violinist. She has served as concertmaster and was awarded the Outstanding Musician of the Year for the Bay Youth Concert Orchestra. Rebecca enjoys reading, horseback riding, competitive swimming, and has represented her area twice in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She currently studies with Dr. Jeffrey Brown.