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Sonora Bach Scholarship Winners

The Sonora Bach Festival held Youth Auditions in a Modified Format as detailed here:

The Sonora Bach Festival held its Annual Youth Auditions on October 9 at the Church of the 49ers. The auditions, usually one of the five, festival events held during the month of October, were altered this year due to Covid precautions. Auditionees were allowed into the church, one at a time, with an invited audience of up to 10 family members. Each student performed for three judges, after which the student and that student’s invited audience exited and the next performer entered. It has been the tradition of the Bach Festival to hold auditions in early September whereupon the judges select finalists to move on to a public concert in early October. Shiloah Stone Fenn, private music teacher and one of two co-chairs of the event, said, “ We wanted to give the students something to work towards- especially after the last 18 months of isolation. By holding auditions, and letting the student invite family, we were able to give them a goal and still provide them a performance opportunity. We were really happy with how the modified event went.”

Judges for the event included Janet Telford, professional flautist and Bach-Festival- Board Member; Daniel Godsil, Columbia College Music Instructor; and Sandra Betti, St. Patrick’s Church Music Director and professional flautist. Auditions, held at The Church of the 49ers in Columbia, lasted about 3 hours. Entries in the auditions included vocalists, pianists, and strings performing as soloists or in ensembles.

Auditionees, selected by the judges to receive $50 scholarships, are: Luka Holbert, piano; Caleb Milbourn, piano; Ryan Rogers, piano; Jadon Lucich, piano; Cassandra Moody, violin; Nina Hollars, piano; Camryn Smith, voice; String Ensemble: Reata Lucore, Liah Ronneburg, Leila Stuart, Daveigha Broyer; String Ensemble: Charlie Melin, Clayton Rucker; Elizabeth Cathcart Randall, voice; Anna Winters, piano; Moriah Winters, piano; Olivia Jones, voice; Kai Haugen, voice; Joshua Hsue, cello; Sophia Hsue, violin; String Ensemble: Sophia & Joshua Hsue, Jasmine & Jemma Hwang; Jemma Hwang, violin; Jasmine Hwang, violin; Addison Thorn, violin; Cooper Thorn, violin;

In addition to the live auditions, each performer or ensemble was videotaped. The video result was placed on YouTube and is available by searching for Sonora Bach Festival -2021 Youth Performances- Award Winners. Makena Clark, private music teacher and co-chair with Stone-Fenn, said, “We limited how many audience members could watch live, so we decided to video each audition and post it on YouTube. We thought this would allow everyone who wanted to watch and couldn’t, to still see his or her participant.”

Diane Wright, Festival Chairperson, said, “ We, as a board, were very happy, under the circumstances, with how we were able to accomplish these auditions. We are hopeful that next year’s Youth Auditions AND Festival will be back to normal.”

Two other events of the Festival- the Salon Concert and the Locals Concert will be held in the Spring. Dates, to be determined, will be announced on the webpage at at a future time.