Three Ouachita Baptist University students earned top honors in Ouachita’s 4th annual Wind and Percussion Concerto Competition held recent on the university campus.
The first-place winner was Alissa Hill, a junior instrumental music education major from Bella Vista, Ark., performing Philip Parker’s “Dialogue” on saxophone. The second-place winner was Aubrey Elliot, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Bentonville, Ark., performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Rondo” from “Concerto in G Major” on flute. The third-place winner was Cyrus Morris, a junior music education major from Katy, Texas, performing Sammy Nestico’s “Persuasion” on also saxophone.
In addition to winning $500, the first-place winner has the opportunity to perform with OBU’s Wind Ensemble on their spring tour. Additionally, $300 was awarded to the second-place winner and $200 was awarded to the third-place winner.
Kristin Grant, OBU instructor of music, said the competition is a great way for students to showcase their talent. “It’s a competition for sophomores through seniors,” Grant said, “and it’s an opportunity for outstanding OBU instrumentalists to present a recital for an audience and a panel of judges.”
Each competitor performed one piece of musical literature in the form of a concerto, a multi-movement work or another piece of music that includes a wind ensemble accompaniment.
When choosing their pieces, the competitors noted that they put a lot of thought and effort into their decision. “I chose to play Rondo from Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G major because this entire concerto as a whole has a lot of sentimental value to me,” Elliot explained. “I played the first movement, Allegro Maestoso, in my high school pageant and just couldn’t get enough of it.”
Morris said he also put a lot of thought and consideration into his piece. “When Dr. Caroline Taylor suggested I do this piece, it was right up my alley,” he said. “It had all the aspects of a traditional classical concerto yet it was jazz influenced which allowed me to be a little more free with it. The process of choosing pieces isn’t something that I take lightly. When dealing with music, my approach is heavily emotional and spiritually influenced.”
Summing up all three winners’ perspectives about being recognized, Hill said, “I felt very happy and honored to have received the award.”
For more information, contact Kristin Grant at email@example.com or (870) 245-5518.
By Meg Gosser