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Winners Announced!

2024 YAC winners

Young Artists Competition 2024

The 2024 Young Artists Competition (YAC), sponsored by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, was held on Saturday, February 3rd. Each year, the YAC contestants perform before nationally and internationally recognized judges. This year’s competition was for piano and the first place winner will perform with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra on March 19th during their INSPIRE concert. – GET TICKETS HERE –

A Little History

The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Dr. Barbara Kaplan, began the Young Artists Competition in 1996 to encourage professional standards of performance among young musicians. Originally formed to serve residents or resident students within a 50 mile radius of LaGrange, Georgia the competition now serves talented young musicians from six southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Congratulations to the Winners

Ruxi WangFirst Place Winner – the Dorothy Allen Turner Award goes to Ruxi Wang. She is in her second year of the Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance degree at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  A native of China, Ruxi received her Bachelor of Music Education-Piano Performance at South China Normal University. She received her Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Missouri. Ruxi currently studies under Dr. Nicholas Susi, Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of South Carolina. Ruxi performed Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor by Felix Mendelssohn. Ruxi will receive a $1,500 stipend and will perform with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra at our March 19th concert “INSPIRE”. (7:30 PM, Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA)

Quang Vo

Second Place Winner – the Max Kaplan Award goes to Quang Vo. A native of Vietnam, he is freshman piano performance major at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers . Quang studies with Dr. Michael Baron, Distinguished Professor of Music, and Head of Keyboard Studies at the Bower School of Music. Quang performed Concerto No. 1 by Frank Liszt. He will receive a $1,000 stipend.

Jungmin ParkThird Place Winner – the NOTE Award goes to Jungmin Park. A native of South Korea, he is a sophomore at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and studies under Dr. Esther Park, Assistant Professor of Piano. Jungmin performed Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He will receive a $500 stipend.

More about the March Concert – INSPIRE

INSPIRE – LaGrange Symphony Orchestra concert
March 19th, 2024 | 7:30 PM | Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA

This concert boasts quite a lineup!

  • Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor
  • Side-by-Side with the LSYO
  • William Dawson’s 1934 Folk Symphony

Guest artist Ruxi Wang, the winning pianist in the recent Young Artists Competition, will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor with the full orchestra.

Also, the annual LSO/LSYO Side-by-Side will happen at this concert. This portion of the concert is always impressive as the maturity and musical competence of our students is at a high level. The Side-by-Side provides one-on-one professional mentoring and large symphony experience to our LSYO members.

The symphonic highlight of this concert will be a beautiful symphony completed in 1934 by African American composer William Dawson (1899-1990), an Alabama native who attended Tuskegee Institute. After completing a master’s degree from the American Conservatory of Music and a ten-year absence where he pursued additional music opportunities, he returned to Tuskegee Institute and developed the Tuskegee Institute Choir into an internationally renowned ensemble. Dawson, a composer, choir director, professor, and musicologist, named his symphony Negro Folk Symphony and referred to the piece as a symbolic link uniting Africa and her rich heritage with her descendants in America. The symphony debuted in Carnegie Hall in a performance by the Philadelphia Symphony and was received with much acclaim and multiple “call backs to the stage.” Although Dawson achieved much in his long life and musical career and is an extremely well-known and well-respected composer of choral music, he never wrote another symphony. A 2020 recording of this symphony by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra demonstrates the beauty and power of this music.



Here is a quicklink to the LSO online ticketing:

At the above link, once you click the INSPIRE concert, click the 19th of March on the calendar, then check out the seating map for Callaway Auditorium. Tickets for this concert are still available as of this writing, but it is expected to sell out. Please secure your tickets as soon as possible. The INSPIRE concert happens to be on the first day of Spring. What a great way to welcome in a new season!

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© LaGrange Symphony Orchestra 2023/2024 | All rights reserved | 706.882.0662 | Richard Prior, Music Director & Conductor

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