Gregory Wang, First Prize Winner
Gregory Wang, son of Dorothy and Bo Wang, is an eleventh grader at Science Hill High School who began his piano studies in the second grade. His past awards include being named a TMTA solo winner over several years as well as winner of the TMTA Concerto Competition during the past five consecutive years. He was runner-up in the 2005 MTNA Southern Division Baldwin Junior Performance Competition and received second prizes in Lee University’s Piano Competition in 2006 and 2007. Gregory is a past winner of the Knoxville Choral Society’s Young Classical Musicians Competition. He has performed with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and the Maryville Symphony Orchestra, and in 2007, performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor with the South Carolina Philharmonic. Since the third grade, he has studied at Tennessee State University with Dr. Benjamin Caton.
Joshua Brooks, Second Prize Winner
Joshua Brooks, son of John Brooks and Deborah Wechsler, is an eleventh grader at Woods Charter School who lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina. He began his piano studies at the age of eight. In 2008, he was a winner of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition and performed with the orchestra in March 2008. In 2007, he was the winner of the Music Teachers National Association state competition for senior piano, representing North Carolina at the regional competition in January 2008. In February 2007, he was solo performer for the Make A Wish Foundation’s Wish Ball. He has recorded for WDAV Radio (Davidson, NC) for the “Main Street Sessions” program featuring gifted students from across North Carolina. He currently studies with Greg McCallum.
Cwen Homa, Third Prize Winner
Cwen Homa, daughter of Rose and Carl Homa, is a home-schooled tenth grader who grew up in rural Michigan and began piano lessons at age six. Cwen is a member of the Lansing Matinee Musicale Performing Arts Students where she won scholarships in three competitions: the Emma Grant Zimmer Junior Piano Award (First Prize), the Louise Freyhofer Senior Piano Award (Second Prize), and the Margaret Denise Piano Award (First Prize) earlier this year. In 2005, she was chosen to perform for the MSU Community Music School Benefit Concert. In May 2006, she played her first solo recital at MSU, and in April 2007, she won Honorable Mention in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Competition. Cwen has received a scholarship to attend Interlochen’s 2008 Summer Music Camp. She has studied during the past four years with Deborah Moriarty at Michigan State University.
Naomi Causby, Discretionary Award Winner
Naomi Causby, daughter of Tom and Suzie Causby, is an eighth grader at Ben Lippen Middle School in Columbia, SC. In addition to her award in the Afternoon, Eau Claire and Morning Music Clubs Scholarship Auditions, she has participated successfully in the MTNA Junior Competitions and the SCMTA District and State, SC Federation of Music Clubs, and Columbia Music Teachers Association Scholarship Auditions. Three times she has been chosen in the SC Piano Festival Auditions to appear as soloist on SCETV. In 2007, Naomi competed in the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose, CA, and also appeared in Columbia as pianist with the Sterling Chamber Players. In summer of 2007 she attended the Interlochen Summer Music Academy, studying under Dr. Ani Gogova and attending master classes with Norman Kreiger and Ian Hobson, and plans to return this year. Naomi currently studies with Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers.
Hanbo Liu, Discretionary Award Winner
Hanbo Liu, son of Xue Liu and Riumin Wang, is a tenth grader at Fairfax High School, in Virginia. He has been a prize winner of the Daniel Piano Competition, Lee Piano Competition, Beethoven Society's Annual Maria Fisher Piano Competition, and numerous other state and local competitions. Hanbo has appeared in recitals at the Goodwin House Stewart Recital Series, George Mason University’s Performing Arts Center, Harris Theatre, and Alden Theatre in Virginia and Maryland. He made his orchestra debut with the Little River Symphony in Virginia and currently studies with Rosita Kerr Mang.
Jiwon Lim, Discretionary Award Winner
Jiwon Lim, daughter of Joon-Hyeuk and Young-Soon Lim, is an eleventh grader at Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. A native of Korea, she moved to the United States in the fall of 2005. She has been studying the piano since she was five and has participated in several competitions and music camps. She was a participant in the 2007 Southeastern Piano Festival hosted by the University of South Carolina. Recently she won the 2008 Symphony Guild of Charlotte’s Young Artists Competition and appeared as a soloist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. She also serves as a choir accompanist at her school and the Church of the True Light. She currently studies with Seung-Ah Kim.