Rochester Philharmonic League recently held and funded its annual Young Artist Auditions for 43 Greater Rochester 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade musicians at Eastman School of Music.
The students competed for $5,500 in cash awards and scholarships. Five cash awards of $500 were offered for female vocalist, male vocalist, strings, piano and instrumental categories. The winners and runners-up from the five award categories then competed for the vocal and instrumental $1,000 college scholarships.
Mark Mitrano, a junior tenor from Greece Athena High School, won the $1,000 Jan DeGaetani Scholarship for Vocalists and the $500 Nobel Hirsh Award for Male Vocalists. He is taught by Kathryn Dyer.
Senior baritone Maxwell Flores, of Odyssey Academy, was named a runner-up for the Nobel Hirsh Award for Male Vocalists. Flores is taught by Joseph Borrelli.
Jazmine Saunders, a junior soprano student from Odyssey Academy, received the $500 Tessa Martin Award for Female Vocalists. She is taught by Rena Monti.
“We celebrate the accomplishments and dedication of all our participants, as well as the tremendous encouragement and support from their parents, teachers and accompanists,” said Eileen Ramos, RPL president. “Our judges are highly esteemed musicians and music educators who are dedicated to nurturing the talent and future of each talented young musician. In addition, our YAA chairman Joanna Bassetthas does a remarkable job heading our planning committee and volunteer team. The wonderful camaraderie among the participants, guests, accompanists and volunteers is a hallmark of this competition, as is the positive encouragement from esteemed musicians who serve as judges each year.”
This year’s judges included RPO musicians and professors from Eastman School of Music, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam and Hochstein School of Music and Dance. Vocal judges were Jeffrey McGhee, of Roberts Wesleyan College; Kimberley Upcraft-Russ, a mezzo-soprano from Nazareth College and SUNY Fredonia; and William Scott, of Hochstein School of Music.
Special Award and scholarship judges were Kieran Hanlon, of SUNY Fredonia and Erie Philharmonic Orchestra; Tony Caramia and Thomas Paul, of Eastman School of Music; and Jessica Sindell, of RPO.
All winners will perform in a free recital, “Young Artists in Concert — A Celebration of Winners,” at 7:30 p.m. July 9 in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester.
Special Award winner Sarah Wager, of Brighton High School, will have the opportunity to audition for a solo performance with Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.