2019 Piano Duo Festival Acknowledgement & Results

Thank you for participating in the 2019 Piano Duo Festival! The event was held on Saturday, February 23 at Greene Music. Students, teachers and families enjoyed the beautiful piano duet music performed by 14 teams in 6 different age-division categories. The Duo Festival chair Dan Yu made all pre-event arrangements and organized the schedule, and on the event day, my MTAC colleague Carol Ong-Chen was an indispensable help to run the two recitals back to back. Thank you to students, parents, and all participating teachers for making it a successful event. The following studios were represented: Eunice Ahn, Eunji Bae, Lee Galloway, Yu Carole Liu, Victor Labenske, Carol Ong-Chen, Galina Talis, and Anna Vasilyeva. Special thanks to our adjudicators Steve Baker and Sanaz Rezai.

Here are the results and photos from the event. Congratulations to all participants. We hope you join us again next year.

2019 Piano Duo Festival Results
Category I: Ages 5 - 9First PlaceGrace Xu & Sarah Deng
Second PlaceAllison Doung & Katelyn Doung
Third PlaceMia Davis & Jace Phillips
Category II: Ages 10 - 12First PlaceWei-Shi Lai & Peiran Liang
Second PlaceAnya Davis & Kailey Philips
Third PlaceIris Cheng & Leah Nacher
Category III: Ages 13 - 15First PlaceRuei-Chi Lai & Davina Zhu
Second PlaceStephen Zhu & Hsiang-Kuang Zhuang
Third PlacePaul Suarez & John Suarez
Category IV: Ages 16 - High SchoolFirst PlaceJessica Mar & Jenny Mar
Category V: CollegeFirst PlaceAurora Grzybek & Evan Lin

2019 Concerto Acknowledgement & Results

Congratulations to all the participants in this year’s Concerto Competition! 

I want to give a special thank you to Sarah Victor, who was my assistant both days, Dana Burnett for preparing the warm-up schedules both days, Lori Vickers, Sun Yung Cho, Alexander Mirolyan, Stacey Liao and Michael Tseitlin for providing pastries and fruit for judges.  I also want to thank USD’s Department of Music for generously sponsoring this event! 

I would also like to express my gratitude to our panel of judges this year:

PIANO: Wan-Chin Chang, Gema Garcia, Mark Gutierrez
WINDS: Beth Ross Buckley, Pamela Vliek Martchev, James Romeo
STRINGS: Elizabeth Brown, Paivikki Nykter, Philip Tyler

Here are the results and photos. Winners performances with orchestra will be announced very soon.

DIVISION I: piano through 11 yrs. 
1st placeYouchae B. – Haydn: Concerto in D Major, 1st mvt.
2nd place (alternate)Tyler C.
3rd placeSaejoon H.
DIVISION II: piano 12-14 yrs.
1st placeAlly N. – Saint-Saens: Concerto No. 2 in G minor, 1st mvt.
2nd place (alternate)Stephanie L.
3rd placeJustin L.
Honorable Mentions:Margaret F. and Christine Z.
DIVISION III:  15-18 yrs.
1st placeAlexis W. – Mozart: Concerto No. 27 in Bb Major, K. 595, 3rd mvt.
2nd place (alternate)Zachary L.
3rd placeSaeji H.
1st placeIsabelle J. – Griffes: Poem
2nd place (alternate)Helen Z.
3rd placeJennie C.
Honorable Mentions:Athena T.
DIVISION V: Strings through 13 yrs.
1st placeDasha Z. – Vivaldi: Concerto in G Minor, RV 317
2nd place (alternate)Caden J.
3rd place (tie)Ellie L. and Lucas L.
Honorable Mentions:Isabel K.
DIVISION VI: Strings 14-18 yrs.
1st placeNathan S. – Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor, 1st mvt.
2nd place (alternate)Pearl d.
3rd placeSusan L.
Honorable Mentions:Jacey L., Lucy G., Josiah d., Andrew Y., Evan Z.

Members may login to view the results with full names below:

2019 VOCE Acknowledgement & Results

There were 41 entries in the 2019 Branch VOCE Competition held at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church on January 5. So numerous were the entries, that the competition was split into two concurrent events: strings and ensembles in the sanctuary, with winds and voice in the chapel.

Congratulations to all participating students for such wonderful performances! You are to be truly commended for your training, preparation, and fortitude.

Thank you to all students, parents, church personnel, co-chairs, volunteers, teachers, accompanists, and judges for your invaluable contributions toward a successful VOCE!

Hernan Constantino, Danette White, and Yuko Maruyama
Ruslan Biryukov, Miriam Cole, Peter Dayeh, Brian Goral, Sunah Park Jong, Pasha Tseitlin, and Dan Yu
Studios Represented:
Ruslan Biryukov, Glen Campbell, Hernan Constantino, Peter Dayeh, Wei Feng, Sunah Park Jong, Alexander Palamidis, Pasha Tseitlin, Danette White, and Elena Yarritu
Yulia Atoyan, Dana Burnett, Miriam Cole, Katherine Dvoskin, Yoonhee Huh, Bradley Pettit, Danette White, and Dan Yu
Strings & Ensembles: Missy Lukin and Chia-Ling Chien
Winds & Voice: James Romeo and Leyla Zamora
Voice: Dan Ratelle

1st Place Branch Winners are eligible to compete at the State VOCE in Orange County on April 7, and we wish you well! 1st Place Alternates may compete at the State VOCE when Branch Winners cannot.

Junior Strings:
1st Place – Elijah D, cello
2nd Place – Jessie S, violin
3rd Place – Benjamin L, violin
Honorable Mention – Caitlin W, violin

Intermediate Strings:
1st Place – Pearl Anne D, viola
2nd Place – Eric Z, violin
3rd Place – Ethan Z, cello
Honorable Mention – Stacy W, violin

Senior Strings:
1st Place – Nathan S, violin
1st Place Alternate – Luzy G, violin
2nd Place – Evan Z, violin
3rd Place Tie – Darren J, cello
3rd Place Tie – Jacey Y, violin

Intermediate Winds:
1st Place – Nithin C, flute & piccolo
1st Place Alternate – Anna L, flute
2nd Place – Gary L, clarinet
3rd Place – Ramona T, flute
Honorable Mention – Richard L, flute

Senior Winds:
1st Place – Zackery E, bassoon
1st Place Alternate – Dillon H, flute

Intermediate Voice:
1st Place – Flora Y, soprano

Intermediate Ensemble:
1st Place – The String Beans
Evan Z, violin; Wei-Shan H, violin; James R, viola; Dylan R, cello

2nd Place – The LHF Trio
Kevin H, violin; Sunny F, cello; Leo L, piano

3rd Place – San Diego Youth Cello Quartet
Darren J, cello; Andrew Y, cello; Ethan Z, cello; Daniel C, cello

Honorable Mention – De la Motte String Quartet
Josiah D, violin; Naomi D, violin; Pearl D, viola; Elijah D, cello

Please login to view the results with full names below.

2018 Sonata Acknowledgement & Results

There were 265 participants in the 2018 Sonata Contest and I am so grateful for all of those who helped to make this a successful day. First, a very big thank you to MTAC members: Mitzi Kolar, Chutaphin Yeager, Miriam Cole, Jacki Summers, Brian Goral, Lynn Sundfor-McPherson, Magdi Bornemisza, Stuart Thurston, Dan Yu, Sarah Victor, Angelina Hardy, Yuko Maruyama and Hua Wang for their help on the day of the contest and in the preparations for the event.

Thank you to the following volunteers whose help was invaluable: Abby Vickers, David Rudolph, Priscilla Ling, Chelsea Clements, Kevin Korevaar Patty Rudolph, Nancy McClintock, Evan and Austin Killeen, Aurora Gryzbek Renee Chang, Paul Otterson, Han-Min Kim, Jonathan Backues and Leslie Lucas.

Another big thank you to Eric Vickers for his computer technical expertise, and for his encouragement and support with running this event!

Finally, none of this would be possible without the constant help of Dr. Mitzi Kolar and Chutaphin Yeager who worked tirelessly on this and previous years’ contests. Thanks also to San Diego State University for their generous hospitality allowing us to use their facility.

The judges for this year were: Sharon Townsend-Roth (Glendale), Rob and Teri Watson (Fullerton), Matilda Rudolph (Vista), Sanaz Rezai (Los Angeles), Mark Mendez (Montebello), Laurie Meinhold (Aliso Viejo), Jo Ellen Vandruff (Orange) and Erika Ramos (Redlands).

Happy Holidays to all of you and we hope to see you next year.

Please login to view the 2018 Sonata Results below:

2018 Chopin Festival Results

On April 14-15, we celebrated Chopin’s music triumphantly together during the inauguration of the first MTACSD Chopin Festival at the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego. Our three accomplished judges from Los Angeles, Dr. Andrew Park, Dr. Wojciech Kocyan, and Dr. Sarkis Baltaian, commented that they were “very inspired with the level of performance and very impressed with the teaching in our branch.” We had 36 contestants represented by 18 studios. There were definitely magical moments and artistic excellence present throughout the Festival. Congratulations to all the performers for their outstanding demonstration of musicianship! Thank you to all the teachers for your exemplary guidance, and please continue to inspire your students to make beautiful music.

My goal for Chopin Festival is to showcase not only some of the strongest music ever written for pianists, but also to feature the many talented musicians we have in our community. This festival encourages young musicians to express themselves with piano, connect with one another through their music-making, and uplift spirits through Chopin’s music. The highlight of the festival was, of course, the Winners’ Recital on Sunday evening, where the attendees benefited from a wonderful showcase of the magnificent artistry of the top two winners and the engaging fellowship at the reception time. I appreciate tremendously for the much enthusiastic support from many of you leading up to and during the two-day weekend. A special shout-out to incredible individuals: Dr. Ed Basilio, Jane Klofkorn, Nimpa Akana, Quynh Nguyen, Sarah Lincoln, Marilyn Carnes, Yuko Maruyama, Miriam Cole, Brian Goral, Lee Galloway, and Jaclyn Summers. I’m most grateful to the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego for hosting us with a fine Steinway concert grand and many cheerful volunteers. Partnering with them has been a real blessing for us all.

Below, please find the winners’ list that the judges have deliberated. Congratulations!

CATEGORY 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Waltz/Mazurka Malvyn Lai Stephanie Ling Amaia Schmitigal
Etude Claire Lewis Priscilla Ling Risa Schapiro
Scherzo Joelle Jeon Ian Llacer Justin Lee
Nocturne Sarah Deng Jason Li Alexis Wu
Ballade Andrew Vu Luke Kim Cameron Lincoln 

2018 Bach Festival Results

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Bach Festival!

Winners of the Complete Works Bach Festival 2018

You chae Bae Celine Lau Hahnlin Noonan
Soo Hyun Bahn Jonathan Lee Luke Qiao
Anna Cao Richard Lee Emily Shi
Emma Cao David Lee Ethan Song
Michael Chen Claire Lewis Edmund Sumpena
Walter Chen Archimedes Li Andrew Sun
Frederick Chien Eric Li Katie Tang
Aaron Chizhik Chloe Li Aidan Wahlmann
Benjamin Fitzpatrick Jason Li Sunny Xiao
Colin Huang Priscilla Ling Jonathan Xue
Allen Huang Stephanie Ling Laura Yu
Edward J Kim Annie Lu Dorien Zhang
Skylar Larsen Ally Negulescu Ryan Zhou

2018 Anna Magdalena Bach Winners

1st Place Ella Xing
2nd Place Haowen Sun
3rd Place Rien Chen

2018 Concerto Acknowledgement & Results

Congratulations to all the participants in this year’s Concerto Competition! It is a fact that in competitions some auditioners must go home without a ribbon or plaque award. However, both days were filled with beautiful music from the morning until the end of the day.

I want to give a special thank you to Yuko Maruyama and Dana Burnett who were tremendously helpful to me. Additionally, I want to thank the teachers and helpers who furnished food for the judges and worked at the check-in table: Jane Bastien, Sun Yung Cho, Susanna Han, George Katz, Inessa Litvin, Alex Mirolyan, Anna Savvas, Risa Schapiro, Carol Seefeldt, Seiran Sohn and Danette White.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the distinguished panel of judges this year:
PIANO: Dr. Doug Ashcraft (Idyllwild), Dr. Jan Meyer Thompson (ASU), Dr. Beverly Simms (ISU)
WINDS: Beth Ross Buckley (flute), Pamela Vliek Martchev (flute), Frank Renk (clarinet)
STRINGS: Isaac Allen (violin), Alex Greenbaum (cello), Angela Choong (viola)

We are in the process of finalizing the orchestra performance for the first-place winners. I hope to have that information for all within the next few days. We will publish the concert information on the website in hopes that many of you will attend!


DIVISION I Piano (through 11 years old)
First Place Adora Xiao – Haydn Concerto in D Major, Mvt III
Second Place Leo Zhang
Third Place Gene Chang

DIVISION II Piano (12-14 years old)
First Place Sunny Xiao – Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G Minor, Mvt III
Second Place Alexis Wu
Third Place Jeremiah Cho
HM Saeji Hong
HM Soo Hyun Bahn

DIVISION III Piano (15-18 years old)
First Place Kevin Lu – Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Mvt I
Second Place Zisheng Shang
Third Place Athena Tsu
HM Sofia Chamberlain
HM Andrew Zhao

First Place Zackery Edwards – Weber Andante and Rondo Ongerese, Op. 35 for bassoon
Second Place Helen Zhu
Third Place Michelle Liu
HM Isabelle Jamois
HM Jennie Cao

DIVISION V Strings (through age 13)
First Place Stacy Widyono – Bruch Violin Concerto in G Minor, Mvt I
Second Place Isabel Kim
Third Place Lucas Lee
HM Saejoon Hong
HM Caden Jiang

DIVISION VI Strings (14-18 years)
First Place Phoebe Olzewski – Lalo Symphonie Espagnole
Second Place (TIE) Katherine Zhu and Jacey Yang
Third Place Pearl de la Motte
HM Evan Zhou
HM Nathan Sariowan

2018 Duo Acknowledgement & Results

The 2018 Piano Duo Festival was held on Saturday, January 20th at Greene Music. I am sincerely thankful to the judges, all the volunteers, teachers and students who came and did an excellent job at the festival. 12 teams participated and 10 teams competed. All the teams were well-prepared and performed wonderfully. The judges’ final results are below:

Piano Duo Festival Final Results
Category I: Ages 5 – 9 
1st place 
Anya Davis & Kailey Phillips
2nd place
Katelyn Duong & Allison Duong
Category II: Ages 10 – 12
1st place (tie)
Ashley Arner & Sophia Guan 
1st place (tie)
Ruei-Chi Lai & Davina Zhu
3rd place 
Wei-Shi Lai & Peiran Liang
Category III: Ages 13 – 15
1st place
Emily Suh & Lauren Suh
2nd place
Stephen Zhu & Hsiang-Kuang Zhuang
Category IV: Ages 16 – high school
1st place 
Tori Tinsley & Sophia Lam

Category V: College 

1st place

Isabelle Chen & Daniel Chen 

Playing piano duets is an effective way to improve the student’s musicianship, as the students learn to work with other musicians on various aspects of ensemble performance. This would be beneficial for their solo playing as well. Thank you again to the studios of Eunice Ahn, Carol Ong-Chen, Yulia Atoyan, Anna Vasilyeva, Irina Bessonova, Yun-Yin Wu, Tracy Lovley and Dan Yu. Thank you to judges Dr. Marina Sakach and Mr. Steve Baker. Thanks for the wonderful help from Yuko Maruyama.

Thank you again! Hope to see you all at next year’s Piano Duo Festival!

2018 VOCE Acknowledgement & Results

Thank you for participating in the 2018 MTAC VOCE Competition. We also would like to thank Grossmont College for the use of their facilities. Thank you to our 3 judges, Rose Lombardo, Catie Longhi and Wesley Precourt. Thank you to Yuko Marumaya and Risa Schapiro for their tremendous help, as well as Danette White.

1st-Place Winners in their categories in the MTAC VOCE Branch Auditions Competition are eligible to compete in the VOCE State Finals Audition on April 22, 2018 at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

The official results are below:

San Diego Branch VOCE Competition on January 7, 2018

Instrumental Ensemble: Intermediate, Competitive
String Quintet – First Place

Instrumental Ensemble: Senior, Competitive
Equinox String Quartet – First Place
4 Cellos – Honorable Mention

Junior Strings, Competitive
Andrew Maxwell – First Place

Senior Strings, Competitive
Katherine Zhu – First Place
Luzy Guanuna – First Place Alternate
Ryan Zhou – Second Place
Amy Lee – Third Place

Intermediate Strings, Competitive
Nathan Sariowan – First Place
Evan Zhou – First Place Alternate
Susan Lee – Second Place
Stacy Widyono – Second Place
Darren Jiang – Third Place
Phoebe Olszewski – Honorable Mention
Jacey Yang – Honorable Mention

Senior Winds, Competitive
Gabriela Beltran – First Place
Zackery Edwards – Second Place
Michelle Liu – Honorable Mention

Intermediate Winds, Competitive
Elisha Tan – First Place
Nithin Chilakapati – Second Place
Anna Lee – Third Place
Praveena Ratnavel – Honorable Mention

Thank you,

Hernan Constantino
Miriam Cole
Co-Chairs, 2018 VOCE Competition

2017 Sonata Contest Acknowledgement & Results

There were 280 participants in the 2017 Sonata Contest and we are so grateful for all of those who helped us to make this a successful day. First, a very big thank you to MTAC members:  Mitzi Kolar, Chutaphin Yeager, Jacki Summers, Ping Hu, Stuart Thurston, Lynn Sundfor-McPherson and Miriam Cole, for their help on the day of the contest and in the preparations for the event.

We were pleased that many former participants returned and helped as well. They included:  Abby Vickers, Karlin Labenske, David Rudolph, Matilda Rudolph, Ashley Luk, Sarah Victor and Emma Chan. Parents of former participants, Patty Rudolph and Nancy McClintock also helped out.  Thank you to Victor Labenske and Brenda Martin who sent their college students from Point Loma Nazarene to help. Thank you to Chutaphin Yeager for bringing her nephew and other student volunteers who helped out all day long. Thank you to Leslie Lucas, an active volunteer in many community events, for helping us again for the sixth year in a row.

Another big thank you to Eric Vickers for his computer technical expertise, which streamlines the administrative work and allows me to sleep at night!

Thanks, finally, to San Diego State University for their generous hospitality and allowing us to use their facility.

The judges for this year were:  Sharon Townsend-Roth (Glendale), Rob and Teri Watson (Fullerton), Linda Rohmund (Carlsbad), Sanaz Rezai (Los Angeles), Mark Mendez (Montebello), Brenda Martin (San Diego), Pamela Mullins (North Carolina), Joseph Matthews (Orange County) and Erika Ramos (Redlands).

Happy Holidays to all of you and we hope to see you next year!

 Sonata Contest Winners List 2017