Eleven Exceptional Musicians Prevail in the 30th Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition

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The Band & Orchestral division of Yamaha Corporation of America has named the winners of the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition

Last year's YYPA winners gather on stage during the 2017 YYPA Concert at Emens Auditorium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

“...We are proud to highlight these young men and women for the musical excellence they have achieved in the early stages of their professional lives,” said John Wittmann, director of artist relations and education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis.

Eleven exceptional musicians have been named the winners of the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition presented by the Band & Orchestral division of Yamaha Corporation of America.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the YYPA Competition recognizes music students studying in the United States who excel in jazz, classical and contemporary genres. In addition to this year’s 11 winners, 11 individuals were awarded with honorable mentions.

“For three decades, Yamaha has been recognizing the extraordinary talents of young, aspiring musicians, many of whom have gone on to promising careers,” said John Wittmann, director of artist relations and education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “This year’s winners will build upon this legacy and we are proud to highlight these young men and women for the musical excellence they have achieved in the early stages of their professional lives.”

Each contestant submitted an audio/video audition and support material that was evaluated by an expert panel of Yamaha Performing Artists and national celebrity musicians. Winners of the competition demonstrated superior technical skill and artistry on brass, winds, strings, percussion instruments and piano.

The 2018 YYPA Winners include:

  • Abby Easterling – flute; Grapevine, Texas
  • Sara Han – clarinet; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Eder Rivera – oboe; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Eric Nakanishi – saxophone; Pleasant Hill, Calif.
  • Joseph Tkach – trumpet; Leander, Texas
  • Ian Kaufman – trombone; San Diego, Calif.
  • Joshua Brown – violin; Gurnee, Illinois
  • Cole Davis – upright bass; New York, New York
  • Chin-Li Sophia Lo – percussion; Fremont, Calif.
  • Carles Pereira – drum set; Barcelona, Spain
  • Angie Zhang – piano; Princeton, New Jersey

The 2018 YYPA winners join 300 exceptional musicians who have been recognized by the program over the past 30 years. Many have established successful music careers, both as performers and educators, including Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Aaron Parks, acclaimed jazz pianist; Jasmine Choi, international flute soloist; Matt Prendergast, principal percussionist for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and Carol Jantsch, Yamaha Performing Artist and principal tubist for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend June 23-26, 2018, which will take place during the Music for All™ Summer Symposium, to be held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, from June 25-30, 2018.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will allow the young artists to perform in front of thousands, receive national press coverage and participate in workshops designed to launch a professional music career. The 2018 young artists will walk away from this experience with services and support from Yamaha Artist Relations and a professional recording, as well as photography, of their live performance.

The YYPA Celebration Weekend will culminate at the annual YYPA Concert, which will be held on Monday, June 25 at Emens Auditorium. Allen Vizzutti, international trumpet soloist, educator and longtime Yamaha Performing Artist, will perform as the Featured Guest Artist with the winners. In previous years, featured guest artists have included Jauvon Gilliam, principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra; Joe Burgstaller, world-renowned soloist and distinguished faculty at The Peabody Institute; and three-time Grammy® Award winner Jeff Coffin, saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band.

For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, email jgascho@yamaha.com or visit http://4wrd.it/YYPA

About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

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