The I.C.A. Young Artist Competition Semi-Finals was held the morning of Thursday, July 31, 2014 in the School of Music Choir Room. This event was coordinated by Maxine Ramey and featured Amanda McCandless, Malena McLaren, Osiris Molina, Jana Starling, and Cathy Wood as judges. The morning was filled with tremendously talented young musicians!
Prior to the start of ClarinetFest 2014, applicants submitted recordings of Charles Stanford’s Sonata, Op. 129, Eric P. Mandat’s Etude for Barney, and Aaron Copland’s Concerto. Twelve semi-finalists were chosen by Preliminary Judges Daniel Cotter, Jane Ellsworth, and James Schoepflin. These semi-finalists include Sara Eastwood, USA; Patrick Englert, USA; Kristi Hanno, USA; Roy Park, USA; José Pinto, Portugal; Caitlin Poupard, USA; Diana Sampaio, Portugal; Dana Sloter, USA; Kristen Thompson, USA; Rucha Trivedi, USA; José Viana, Portugal; and Hila Zamir, Israel.
For the semi-finalist round, the performers were asked to play pre-selected excerpts of the same program that was required for the preliminary round. They began with the second movement of the Stanford Sonata, which allowed each person to share their musical voice. The next piece was Mandat’s Etude for Barney. This piece is filled with quarter tones and multiphonics, which the performers played boldly and without reserve. Lastly, sections of the Copland were performed, which included a lead into the cadenza, the cadenza, as well as a portion of the second movement. The large leaps, legato passages, and articulation demands in all registers were especially exciting to hear these young musicians play with such ease.
Each performer had their own unique voice and conveyed their musicality with beauty and conviction. It was absolutely wonderful to hear young performers with not only excellent interpretations, but with full and dark tone qualities, overall control, and technical prowess. Finalists were announced and include José Pinto, Diana Sampaio, Kristen Thompson, Rucha Trivedi, José Viana, and Hila Zamir.
The final round of the competition will be held Saturday, August 2, 2014 starting at 8:30 a.m. in the School of Music Choir Room.
–Notes by Dr. Jackie McIlwain
Dr. Jackie McIlwain is the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently plays with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Meridian Symphony Orchestra.