Winners of National Young Performing Artists Awards

6/18/2004 [Strings]

Yamaha music students from across the country receive honors during 2004 Yamaha Young Performing Artists program.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 18, 2004) — Talented young artists from across the country were honored recently as Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, announced the winners of the 2004 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) program. The program goes hand in hand with the Bands of America (BOA) Summer Symposium and serves as its kick-off concert. Both BOA and Yamaha's Education Department maintain corporate offices in Indianapolis.

Stephen Page
2004 YYPA Winner Stephen Page
This year's national awards concert was held on Monday evening, June 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Braden Auditorium on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Winners were guests of Yamaha for a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, special awards concerts and social events.

The YYPA program is designed to provide early career recognition for outstanding young musicians in the United States. Hundreds of applicants, ages 16-21, apply annually and undergo a rigorous taped audition process for a panel of national celebrity musicians. The 2004 winners join a total of more than 100 others who have earned the distinction since the program's inception in 1989. Many have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or are playing professionally with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.

Clarinetist Richard Hawkins, a 1990 winner, has performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra and is currently principal clarinetist in the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra, while 1990 saxophone winner Walter Blanding has recorded an album, performed on "The Tonight Show" and been hired for Wynton Marsalis' band. In addition, 1994 saxophone winner Kenneth Tse studied under world-renowned saxophonist Eugene Rousseau, released four critically acclaimed CD's, has been signed as a Yamaha Artist and is a professor of saxophone at the University of Iowa.

The 2004 winners are:

Winner Instrument Hometown School
Kris Becker Piano Altamont, IL Graduate, University of Illinois
Adam Bhatia Trumpet Long Beach, CA UCLA
Jasmine Choi Flute Philadelphia, PA The Curtis Institute of Music
Michael Dease Trombone Augusta, GA The Juilliard School
Jack Cozen Harel Oboe San Francisco, CA San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Pamela Harris Horn Fairbanks, AK University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Christopher Hopkins Cello Fairbanks, AK The Juilliard School
Stephen Page Saxophone Stuart, FL University of Minnesota
Matt Prendergast Marimba Boston, MA Boston Conservatory
Anna Marie Wytko Saxophone Tempe, AZ Graduate, University of Minnesota

YYPA 2004 Winners
2004 YYPA Winners

"The Yamaha Young Performing Artist Program has stood the test of time and improved throughout the years," says John Wittmann, manager, Education, Yamaha's Band & Orchestral Division. "It is a joy and honor for Yamaha to play a small part in launching some brilliant careers. The beauty lies in the fact that the competition is over before the winners arrive – the whole weekend is spent learning from each other and celebrating music. It culminates with the winners giving a world-class concert for thousands of students. The letters we receive from the winners and their parent says it all: 'our lives were changed after experiencing the YYPA weekend.'"

For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, 39 West Jackson Place, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46225; call (317) 524-6270; or e-mail

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