Cincinnati Arts Association announces 2021 Overture Award winners

The Cincinnati Arts Association has announced the winners of its Overture Awards Competition. Due to the impact of the pandemic, all three rounds of the competition were held virtually, culminating in an online announcement and celebration ceremony. The competition awarded $2,000 for education and training to the winning students in six arts disciplines, and $750 to each of the eighteen runners-up.

The Overture Awards recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12 and is the area’s largest solo arts competition. Students are nominated by their schools and/or private studios to compete in one of six disciplines: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, theater, visual art, and vocal music. There are three levels of competition: regional, semi-final, and final.

Now in its twenty-fifth year, the Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation (now Duke Energy) and Class 19 of Leadership Cincinnati (a program of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber). The Overture Awards is funded and administered by the Cincinnati Arts Association, which operates and manages the Aronoff Center and Music Hall. The Overture Awards effort also relies on hundreds of volunteers from the community who help raise funds, adjudicate and manage the competitions, and nurture the program.

The Overture Awards are endowed by the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Overture Awards Presenting Sponsors: TriHealth; The Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.; Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; Summerfair Cincinnati

Scholarship Sponsors: Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Douglas Beal, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Brandon Etheridge, Maura Garuccio, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Phoenix Rising Ballroom, Summerfair Cincinnati, Josh Tilford, Western & Southern Financial Fund, The William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation


(Winners highlighted in bold type.)

Creative Writing

  • Alexandra Frohn, grade 12, Seven Hills School
  • Savannah Gripshover, grade 11, Conner Senior High School
  • Jenny Hu, grade 11, Seven Hills School
  • Deeya Prakash, grade 11, Sycamore High School


  • Braylan Enscoe, grade 11, Laurel Springs School / Just Off Broadway
  • Gracie Harper, grade 12, Anderson High School / The Studio for Dance
  • Trista Mullenix, grade 10, School for Creative and Performing Arts / Just Off Broadway
  • Emi Tao, grade 12, William Mason High School / Bing Yang Chinese Performing Arts Center

Instrumental Music

  • Ashley Cai, grade 10, William Mason High School / Benita Tse Leung
  • Cole Kubesch, grade 12, Sycamore High School
  • Nicholas Wolfe, grade 12, Saint Xavier High School / Leung Studios
  • Andrew Yang, grade 12, Seven Hills School / Won-Bim Yim


  • Benjamin Crane, grade 11, Homeschool / Lincoln Chapman Studio
  • Claire Northcut, grade 12, William Mason High School / Musical Arts Center
  • Bella Randle, grade 11, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy / Musical Arts Center
  • Madeline Ritter, grade 12, School for Creative and Performing Arts / Cincinnati Conservatory MTI

Visual Art

  • Sydney Luebbe, grade 12, Lakota West High School / Stephanie Gauer
  • Marialinda Roblero, grade 12, Lakota West High School / Stephanie Gauer
  • Nathan Tyler, grade 12, Sycamore High School
  • Tiya Yempati, grade 12, William Mason High School

Vocal Music

  • Claire Hardek, grade 11, Indian Hill School / Dr. Kimberly Buczek, Cincinnati Academy of Performing Arts
  • Ella Vaughn, grade 10, Walnut Hills High School / Karl Resnik, Musical Arts Center
  • Mary Wilkens, grade 11, Ursuline Academy / Melody Wallace
  • Maria Zierolf, grade 12, Mount Notre Dame High School / Lincoln Chapman, Musical Arts Center

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