July 2, 2003
Whitworth Musicians Shine at Musicfest Northwest Competition
Three Whitworth students earned high honors at the 2003 Musicfest Northwest solo competition in May. Seniors Jonelyn Langenstein and Kevin Swisher and junior Allison Cleaveland were gold winners in the Young Artist division, a special category reserved for the most talented musicians. The three students received $250 awards and the opportunity to perform as soloists with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to the three gold winners in the Young Artist division, five Whitworth students won Young Artist silver awards, 21 received Musicfest gold medals, six were Musicfest silver-medal winners, and two received Musicfest certificates of achievement.
Competitors in the Young Artist division performed a memorized movement from a major concerto and a movement from another major work, then sight-read a piece chosen by the judge. The Young Artist categories included brass, piano, percussion, woodwinds, string and voice. Whitworth students won three of the six categories in this competition.
The winners in the Young Artist division are some of the most talented musicians in the Inland Northwest, says Dan Keberle, music professor and chair of the music department at Whitworth.
"It takes hundreds of hours of training, a lot of practice time, dedication and great talent" to win the Young Artist division, Keberle says. "The musicians have developed through years of consistent and daily practice, private lessons and hard work to gain both the technical and expressive ability to play the music effortlessly."
Whitworth junior Allison Cleaveland, the winner in the flute division, played Bizet's Carmen Fantasy and Sonata by Poulenc. Cleaveland is majoring in flute performance and is also earning a degree in nursing.
"I have always dreamed of soloing with a symphony," says Cleaveland, who performed with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra at the Met Theatre in mid-May along with the other two Whitworth musicians who won their categories in the Young Artist competition.
"Winning the competition and playing with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra gave me more confidence in my ability and has inspired me to keep working hard and playing, because wonderful things can come from it," Cleaveland says. "The opportunity gave me a new love for performing; it's a frightening but exhilarating experience."
Whitworth senior vocal-performance major Jonelyn Langenstein won the voice category of the Young Artist competition. In December 2002 Langenstein won the district audition for the New York Metropolitan Opera and was named "most talented young singer."
Senior music-education major Kevin Swisher, a trumpet player, was Whitworth's winner in the brass category.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Dan Keberle, Music Professor and Department Chair, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.