Pandemic can’t stop the music
The coronavirus epidemic has put an enormous dent in all sort of plans this spring, from live concerts to exhibits to … well, pretty much everything, including in-person auditions.
Facing the possibility of not being able to hold live auditions for its annual Nancy F. Walker Memorial Scholarship Competition, the leaders of Matinée Musicale, the 107-year-old Cincinnati professional recital series, investigated how to make these auditions happen. After much discussion – with legal consultation and agreement from its judges – Matinée Musicale got creative and adjusted its regular procedures in order to hold the competition online. Each applicant submitted a YouTube video presenting up to 10 minutes of music.
Eight surrounding counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana were represented with a total of 65 applicants from four colleges, 21 high schools and several homeschools. Among the surprises was a set of siblings, who each won second place, one at the college level, the other at the high school level.
High School Instrumental
Kasey Shao, piano (junior, Walnut Hills High School – Ran Dank, teacher)
Simon Bakos, bass clarinet (senior, Mason High School – Diana Gipson, teacher)
3rd Place (TIE)
- Daniel Dorsey, cello (junior, St. Xavier High School – Sarah Kim, teacher)
- Meagan Hipsky, cello (senior, homeschool – Sarah Kim, teacher)
- Jennifer Armor, violin (senior, homeschool – Kurt Sassmannshaus, teacher)
- Nolan Meister, piano (junior, Lakota West High School – Jackson Leung, teacher)
- Arun Kamath, piano (junior, Sycamore High School – Richard Van Dyke, teacher)
- Andrew Lu, piano (senior, St. Xavier High School – Nozomi Yamaguchi, teacher)
High School Vocal
Jadyn Riggs, mezzo-soprano (senior, School for Creative and Performing Arts – Karl Resnik, teacher)
Mary Wilkens, soprano (junior, Ursuline Academy – Melody Wallace, teacher)
Eric Riedel, tenor (senior, West Clermont High School – Alison Acord, teacher)
Claire Northcut, soprano (junior, Mason High School – Bill Seale, teacher)
Yang Gao, piano (junior, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Awadagin Pratt, teacher)
Janna Young, harp (senior, CCM – Gillian Sella, teacher)
Phillip Palmore, French horn (senior, CCM – Denise Tryon, teacher)
- Kasey Stokes, piano (junior, CCM – Dror Biran, teacher)
- Charlie Gately, trumpet (senior, Miami University – Steven Pride, teacher)
- Natalie Orth, violin (CCM – Timothy Lees, teacher)
- Stephen Freeman, piano (senior, Xavier University – Sonya Szabo-Reynolds, teacher)
Sara “Storm” Hargrave, soprano (junior, CCM – Amy Johnson, teacher)
Nathanial Wilkens, baritone (junior, Miami University – Alison Acord, teacher)
Kayla Kramer, soprano (senior, Miami University – Alison Acord, teacher)
- Logan Wagner, tenor (senior, CCM – Quinn Patrick Ankrum, teacher)
- Hayden Smith, baritone (senior, CCM – Kenneth Shaw, teacher)
- Dan Culnan – associate principal cellist, Cincinnati Symphony; pianist
- Karen Schneider – well known for teaching and embouchure problem solving skills; faculty of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp and Barry Tuckwell Institute
- Manami White – concertmaster, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster and associate director, Collegium Cincinnati; principal second violin and personnel manager, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; concertmaster, South Florida Symphony Orchestra; concertmaster, Ohio Valley Symphony
- Mark Calkins, associate professor of music, voice; Berea College; past president of Kentucky chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing; teacher of master classes in classical operatic and musical theatre performance internationally
- Evans Mirageas, artistic director of Cincinnati Opera
- Morgan Smith, baritone, local resident and prolific global performer of modern operatic repertoire
Nancy Fuldner Walker was a musician, music teacher and strong advocate for all music and arts organizations. She provided able leadership to Matinée Musicale for more than four decades before her death in October 2017.
Matinée Musicale Cincinnati has presented classical music recitals by rising professional musicians since 1912.