Eight Exceptional Music Students Named 2012 Yamaha Young Performing Artists

—Talented Young Musicians from Across the Country Win Top Honors—

Online PR News – 24-June-2012 – INDIANAPOLIS – INDIANAPOLIS--Every year since the competition’s inception in 1988, Yamaha Corporation of America’s Band & Orchestral Division has honored talented young artists under the auspices of the Yamaha Young Performing Artist (YYPA) program, an annual competition for performers between the ages of 16 and 21. Instrument categories include winds, brass, strings, concert percussion, drum set and piano.

Applicants submit their credentials to Yamaha each year and undergo a rigorous taped audition process judged by a panel of national celebrity musicians. This year, the panel selected eight winners and eleven honorable mention recipients. Since the program’s inception, many past winners have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or have secured professional engagements with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.

Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the Music For All (MFA) Summer Symposium and awards ceremony, where they enjoy a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, social events, special awards concerts and workshops focusing on how to establish a career in music. They also participate in the prestigious YYPA concert at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where they will receive a recording and photos of their performance, along with the benefits of being selected as a Yamaha Young Performing Artist.

This year's YYPA Concert will be held on Saturday, June 23rd at 8:00 pm at Ball State’s Emens Auditorium, and will serve as the kick-off concert for the Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha.

“Yamaha is unrivaled in its support of music education, as well as young musicians at each level of development,” said John Wittmann, Director of Education and Artist Services, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Historically, the YYPA program has proven to be a major stepping stone on the path toward becoming a professional musician.”

Former YYPA winners have gone on to highly successful careers, with highlights that include playing with world-renowned musicians, winning international competitions and releasing recordings. Previous YYPA winners include Ricardo Morales (1990) Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic; Otis Murphy (1994) saxophonist and faculty at Indiana University School of Music; Jasmine Choi (2004) Associate Principal Flute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Aaron Parks (2000) jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist; Kenneth Tse (1994) saxophonist and faculty at the University of Iowa; and Kevin Bobo (1994) percussionist and faculty at Indiana University School of Music.

The 2012 winners join more than 200 other talented musicians who have earned the distinction since the program’s inception.

The 2012 YYPA winners include:

Matthew Ross - Flute
Julia DeRosa - Oboe
Connor Mikula - Saxophone
Kevin Sun - Jazz Tenor Saxophone
Josh Shpak - Jazz Trumpet
Alex Schomaker - Euphonium
Heejeong Shin - Marimba
Chase Morrin - Jazz Piano

The 2012 YYPA honorable mentions include:

Niles Watson - Flute
Sangwon Lee - Clarinet
Caitlin Beare - Clarinet
Blake Deibel - Jazz Saxophone
Jonathan Bhatia - Trumpet
Mitchell McCrady - Horn
Shelby Nugent - Horn
Evan Belair - Marimba
Michael Delfin - Piano
Yi-Yang Chen - Piano
Gabriela Peña-Kim - Violin

“Yamaha congratulates all of this year’s YYPA winners and honorable mentions,” added Wittmann. “We look forward to witnessing the development of their artistry, as well as the evolution of their musical careers.”

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; e-mail jwittmann@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com/band.