Winners Announced in 22nd Annual Walgreens National Concerto Competition


Congratulations to the over 250 exceptional young musicians from all corners of the country, who competed in Midwest Young Artists Conservatory’s 22nd Annual Walgreens National Concerto Competition from December 27 to 29 at Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall and the MYAC Center in Highwood, IL.

Students from elementary through 12th grades competed for more than $20,000 in scholarships and cash prizes in the MYAC Division and the Open Division, which were both further divided into the Junior Level (up to 8th grade) and the Senior Level (9th through 12th graders).

A panel of distinguished judges selected the winners and delivered individual comments on each performance. Most exciting of all, the prize for these young musicians is the chance to perform their winning pieces with MYAC’s full orchestras, and on the prestigious “From the Top” radio program. Walgreens Corporation’s annual sponsorship enables MYAC to provide students with preeminent artist-educator judges, a video recording of their performance, written performance evaluations, and an inviting and nurturing environment in which to participate.

Overall winners will perform at the February 24th MYAC concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall at Northwestern University. Category winners are chosen to perform at a Winners Recital at Bennett-Gordon Hall on the Ravinia Campus in Highland Park on March 10, 2019. Winning soloists may also be selected for performance opportunities with Midwest professional and community orchestras.

2018 Walgreens National Concerto Competition Winners:


OVERALL OPEN DIVISION GRAND WINNER: James Baik, cello
*The Overall Open Division Grand Winner is chosen from the Open Junior and Open Senior Division winners.

JUNIOR OPEN DIVISION
OVERALL DIVISION WINNER: Kimiko Darcy, piano

VOCAL CATEGORY:
Honorable Mention:
Miriam Faybysh

WINDS CATEGORY:
Winner: Louis Auxenfans, clarinet
Honorable Mention:
Grace Choi, flute

EARLY MUSIC CATEGORY:
Winner: Ella Wimbiscus, cello
Honorable Mention:
Eric Wang, piano

STRINGS CATEGORY:
Honorable Mention:
Madeline Cha, violin
Bianca Ciubancan, violin
Karim Al Zahabi, violin
Sameer Agrawal, violin

PIANO CATEGORY:
Winner: Kimiko Darcy
Honorable Mention:
Rosabelle Shi
Emmie Guo
Caleb D. Kim
Clara Zhang

SENIOR OPEN DIVISION
OVERALL DIVISION WINNER: James Baik, cello

VOCAL CATEGORY:
Shawna Lewis

WINDS / OTHER CATEGORY:
Winner: David Lee, clarinet
Honorable Mention:
Taylor Akin, bassoon
Robert Black, tuba
Nicolas Quero, flute

EARLY MUSIC CATEGORY:
Winner: Rabia Brooke, violin

STRINGS CATEGORY:
Winner: James Baik, cello
2nd Place: Rabia Brooke, violin
Honorable Mention:
Zechariah Mo, viola
Nicholas Boettcher, double bass
Claire Metcalf, violin

PIANO CATEGORY:
Winner: Ben Hoang
Honorable Mention:
Sakurako Eriksen
Justin Chang
Ashley Kim

SENIOR MYAC ORCHESTRA DIVISION
OVERALL DIVISION GRAND WINNER: Ezra Burca, viola

WINDS CATEGORY:
Winner: Nick Nocita, bassoon
Honorable Mention:
Sebastian Ingino, clarinet
Joanna Choe, flute

EARLY MUSIC CATEGORY:
Winner: Liam Diethrich, violin

STRINGS CATEGORY:
Winner: Ezra Burca, viola
Honorable Mention:
Christopher Gottardi-Littell, violin
Daria Chudnovsky, violin
Bella Kim, viola
Haoming Song, cello

PIANO CATEGORY:
Winner: Sebastian Ingino

JUNIOR MYAC ORCHESTRA DIVISION
OVERALL DIVISION GRAND WINNER: Ruth Kim, violin

STRINGS CATEGORY:
Winner: Ruth Kim, violin
Honorable Mention:
Jacob Fisher, bass
Momo Frederickson, violin
Nick Ingino, violin
John Lee, violin
David Wu, cello

OTHER CATEGORY:
Winner: Sophia Katsuma
Honorable Mention:
Richelle Shi

PIANO CATEGORY:
Winner: Elizabeth Romanyuk
Honorable Mention:
Jocelyn Gao

EARLY MUSIC CATEGORY:
Winner: Jacob Fisher, bass
Honorable Mention:
Sofia Radovic, viola
Gabriella Radovic, violin





Heard The News? We Just Unwrapped a New MYA.org this Christmas


We're pretty proud of our brand new website at MYA.org, which just launched this week. The new MYA.org was designed by MYAC's very own Beth Duvall, and developed by two MYAC alumni: Ivan Franco (violin, 2018) and Finley Lau (percussion, 2016).

With close guidance by our administrative, communications, and marketing staff, Ivan and Finley custom built the new MYA.org to feature both an updated look and feel and a simpler, more user-friendly interactive experience.

Here are just a few of the new things you'll find on the new MYA.org:


  • A full calendar of MYAC events and an online ticket purchasing portal
  • Complete information on program offerings and MYAC faculty bios 
  • How to audition to join MYAC ensembles and register for music classes
  • MYAC’s unique private music teacher matching service 
  • Details on 2019 summer programs and upcoming student tours
  • Information about MYAC’s three instrument festivals and national concerto and chamber competitions


We hope you'll visit today and let us know what you think!



Celebrate Peace and Joy With MYAC’s Heartwarming Holiday Events


Midwest Young Artists Conservatory proudly presents two free holiday events this December featuring the talents of its choral, jazz, and orchestra students:


  • Sunday December 9 at 2 p.m. at DePaul University's newly unveiled elegant and acoustically optimal Holtschneider Performance Center 2330 N. Halsted St in Chicago, MYAC Maestros and Voices Rising choral singers perform with MYAC Concert Orchestra and Jazz Workshop students in “What The World Needs Now Is Love”: a FREE program of inspirational songs promoting peace.
  • Sunday December 16 at 2 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. at Bennett Gordon Hall at 201 St. Johns Ave. in Highland Park, IL, the “Magical Musical Holiday Show” will feature MYAC’s Symphony Orchestra, MYAC choral ensemble members, an original dramatic performance, holiday caroling, and a special visit from Santa himself! The Magical Musical Holiday show is FREE. Parking is free. 


Founder and Executive Director Allan Dennis says one of his primary goals in life is to bring music to children and families of all ages, interests, and areas. He’s especially thrilled for the MYAC community concerts that share music in a way that “I think every community deserves.”

Voices Rising and VocalPoint Director Stevi Marks says she believes music education fosters connections, builds bridges, and unites people.

“Our students come together from different backgrounds and experiences and their joy for making music is palpable. Music is our platform for teaching tolerance, equality, unity, and life lessons that go beyond the score. What better respite than music to take us beyond the difficulties of our daily world?"