Young Musicians Contest 2020

Caroline Sonett-Assor, YMC Coordinator

    The 2020 Young Musicians Contest (YMC) took place on Sunday, February 9. First held in 2008, the contest is intended to foster the development of pre-collegiate flutists by exposing them to a healthy competitive environment and constructive comments from the area's professional flutists.
     We congratulate our winners and thank YMC coordinator Caroline Sonett-Assor, judges Emily AndenmattenCarla Auld, Sarah Carrier, Sophia Ennocenti, Yeami Kim, and Mary-Ann Tu, and volunteer helper Hannah Skoney. This year's winners were selected from a field of 46 contestants and will perform at the Flute Fair YMC concert on February 29.

Our 2020 Winners

Age 8 and under: Elisa (Ellie) Fowler

Elisa (Ellie) Fowler, age 7, is in second grade at St. Stephen's Elementary School in Stevens Point, WI. She started her Suzuki flute studies in February 2017; Wendy Stern is her flute teacher. Ellie has participated in the Flute Winter Workshops at the Music Institute of Chicago and the East Tennessee Suzuki Flute Institute with Toshio Takahashi. At age 3, she started voice studies with Mary Hofer at the Aber Suzuki Center and performed at the Suzuki Association of the Americas 2016 convention with the Voice Troupe Ensemble. She also studies Suzuki piano with Thomas Yang.  She will perform the Vivace from Telemann's Sonata in F major..

Ages 9-11: Ilaria Loisa Hawley

Ilaria Loisa Hawley, born in 2009, is the recipient of a 2019 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the inaugural recipient of Claire Chase's Pnea Foundation Young Flutist Award, and the winner of the 2020 Composers Now "First Commissions" Prize. Ilaria's music has been performed by Face the Music and the New York Philharmonic, as part of its Very Young Composer Program, and she is a composition student of Mathew Fuerst and a flute student of Zara Lawler. She spends summers studying with Christina Jennings and has attended Greenwood Music Camp. Ilaria enjoys drawing, drama, reading, rock climbing, and making earrings. She attends PS 314 Muscota New School in NYC. She will be performing the Allegro from Handel's Sonata No. 3.

Ages 12-14: Zuri Alexandra (Sasha) Blackman, Megan Huang, and Michael Stoica 

Zuri Alexandra (Sasha) Blackman, age 13, is currently a seventh grade student at the Infinity Institute in Jersey City, NJ, and in her fifth year of flute study with Valerie Holmes at the Lucy Moses School. She attended the Luzerne Music Center Summer Program in 2017 and 2018 and participated in the Galway flute Festival in Weggis, Switzerland this past summer. As a first prize winner in the 2019 Crescendo International Competition, Sasha recently performed at the Weill Recital Hall. She is also a 2020 Kaufman Music Center Concerto Competition winner. When not practicing her flute and piano Sasha enjoys watching films and reading. She will be performing the Allegro Aperto from Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major.



Megan Huang, age 14, studies with Judy Grant at the Boston Flute Academy. She was a 2019 concerto competition winner at the Luzerne Music Center Junior Session, the runner-up in the 2018 Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) Repertory Orchestra Concerto Competition, and took honorable mention in the 2017 New York Flute Club Young Musicians Contest for ages 9-11. Megan won principal positions in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Eastern District Junior Festival Orchestra in 2019 and Band in 2020. She is a member of the middle school band at the Putnam Avenue Upper School in Cambridge, MA, the Advanced Repertory Ensemble at Boston Flute Academy, and the Repertory Orchestra at BYSO. She has performed in masterclasses with James Galway, Rita D'Arcangelo, Cobus du Toit, and Geralyn Coticone. She also enjoys participating in the middle school musical, playing soccer, and drawing. She will be performing Georges Hüe's Fantaisie.


Michael Stoica, age 13, has studied flute for five years with Donna Elaine at Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale, NY, where he is enrolled in the Honors Program. He participates in the chamber music program, music theory, and composition and enjoys improvising with the jazz band at the school. Michael is a member of the Westchester Youth Symphony Orchestra and is looking forward to the upcoming spring gala concert at David Geffen Hall. He is a member of the Edgemont Junior High School Band and was selected to play first flute at the Westchester All-County Band. Michael enjoys competitive swimming and will compete at the Junior Olympic Games this year. He will be performing Chaminade's Concertino.


Ages 15-18: Harper Love and Lara Tsibelman

Harper Love, age 15, began her flute studies at age 11 with Christine Perea. She is currently a student of Keith Bonner at Special Music School High School, where she is a sophomore. Harper currently performs with the Interschool Orchestra (ISO), Face the Music, and the wind ensemble and chamber groups at Special Music School. In the past, she has performed with the Brooklyn Youth Music Project. In the spring of 2019, Harper won the concerto competition for flute at Special Music School. Last summer, she attended the flute workshop at the Heyhoe Woods Retreat and worked with flutists Wendy Stern, Kathleen Nester, and Keith Underwood. Harper also enjoys reading literature and playing the piano and guitar. She will perform the Griffes Poem.

Lara Tsibelman, age 16, has been playing the flute for five years and started working with Wendy Stern and Linda Mark in July 2019. She enjoys participating in her school's marching band and contemporary ensemble. Lara recently won the Elite International competition with first honors. This summer, she will play in Europe as part of the American Music Abroad Silver Tour. She will perform Henri Büsser's Prelude et Scherzo.




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