On Sunday, January 27, a group of extraordinarily talented high school senior musicians gathered for the final two rounds of the annual Stamford Symphony Instrumental Scholarship Competition.
Sponsored by the Jeniam Foundation, this yearly competition is open to high school seniors in the state of Connecticut, and is judged by a panel of distinguished professional musicians from the New York metropolitan area. Four students were chosen to move on to the Finals Competition, which took place later in the evening. Violinist Alexander Yokokawa of Fairfield took the First Place honors with an award of $10,000. Pianist Christine Xu of Weston and violinist Ryo Usami of Darien shared the Second Place honors and each was awarded $3,500. Classical guitarist Tristan Speed of Newtown was awarded the Honorable Mention.
In 1987, the Stamford Symphony launched a scholarship program for exceptionally talented Connecticut high school seniors seeking to pursue advanced study in music. In 2005, the program was expanded to include more awards and to welcome any high school senior residing in Connecticut who intends to major in music performance at an accredited conservatory, college, or university.
Stamford Symphony Scholarship winners have attended such prestigious schools as the Curtis Institute, the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, The Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. Several have become successful professional musicians.
The Jeniam Foundation funds the First Place prize of $10,000 ($2,500 annually) and Second Place prize of $7,000 ($1,250 annually).
Scholarship recipients are recognized at the Stamford Symphony’s January Saturday evening Orchestra Classics concert in at the Palace Theatre. They are also invited to participate in local performances and to perform at the Annual Meeting of the Stamford Symphony Society.
The receipt deadline for submitting Stamford Symphony Instrumental Scholarship applications is December 1.
Applicants must submit an application, a recently recorded CD or audiocassette, three letters of recommendation, a high school transcript, proof of residency, a brief biography, and the $40 entry fee. Those selected as finalists must perform a 15-minute program for an expert panel of judges in January.