Several School of Music students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) have won awards throughout the Southeast in recent weeks.
Last month, Dustin Wilkes-Kim, a ninth-grade violin student from Winston-Salem, was the unanimous choice by the judges to win at the Regionals of the Music Teachers National Association’s (MTNA) Junior Strings Competition in Columbus, Ga. He will represent the Southern Division of the MTNA at the National Finals in Milwaukee, Wisc., on March 25. On Feb. 5, Wilkes-Kim placed second in the Hilton Head Symphony Concerto Competition Finals Concert, facing tough national competition. He studies with faculty-artist Sarah Johnson.
Steven Banks, a 12th-grade alto saxophone student from Clemmons, was selected as a winner of the 2011 Durham Symphony Young Artists Competition on Jan. 30. As a winner, he will perform Paul Creston’s “Concerto for Alto Saxophone” at a subscription series concert on March 6 at the Carolina Theater in Durham. Banks was the only high school student among the winners and the only non-string player selected among both winners and honorable mentions. He studies with faculty-artist Taimur Sullivan.
Second-year Master of Music student and A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute Fellow Richard Ollarsaba, baritone, of Tempe, Ariz., won second place of 26 competitors in the Southeast Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Auditions on Feb. 6 in Atlanta, Ga. He studies with faculty-artist Marilyn Taylor.
Also competing in MONC Auditions, college senior Nathan Milholin, also a baritone, of Greensboro, won an Encouragement Award from the South Carolina District on Jan. 29 in Columbia, S.C. Milholin also studies with Taylor.
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.
(Press release provided by the UNCSA.)