Young Artists Competition

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The 2023 competition is for string instruments and will be held in February of 2023.  Look for the new application and announcement poster for that competition to be distributed in late summer or early fall of 2022.

Below are some samples of 2022 materials.


2022 Poster

YAC 2022 Poster Link

26th Annual Young Artists Competition for Winds. February 2022 Winners Announced!

Young Artists Competition

The Board of Directors of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra announces the winners of the 26th annual Young Artists Competition, held during the month of February. Although the final event has been held live in the past, in the ongoing presence of the pandemic, the symphony continued with a virtual competition. The competition this year was open to participants from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee who were under age 26 and played a wind instrument.

This competition began in 1996 to encourage professional standards of performance among young musicians. The founder of the Young Artists Competition was the late Dr. Barbara Kaplan who served as an active member of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors from 1992 to 2005.

Lindsey Welp

Lindsey WelpThe Dorothy Allen Turner Award for first place and $1,500 cash went to alto saxophonist Lindsey Welp, who performed Concerto for Alto Sax and Orchestra by Henri Tomasi. Ms. Welp is in the first year of her Doctoral in Music Arts, Saxophone Performance, at The University of Georgia. She holds a Master of Music, Saxophone Performance from Bowling Green State University as well as a Bachelor of Music, Saxophone Performance and French, from DePauw University. Ms. Welp has participated in Academic Programs Abroad, studying saxophone and French in Paris. She has served as an adjunct instructor and graduate student teaching assistant at both Terra State Community College and Bowling Green State University.

Ms. Welp is the 2021 and 2020 winner of the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Young Performing Artist State Competition, 2021 third prize winner in the Elise Hall Competition for Emerging Saxophonists, 2020 winner of the Bowling Green State University Competition in Music Performance, and 2019 winner of DePauw’s University Concerto Competition as well as the Van Denman Thompson Award for excellence in scholarship, musicianship, and activities. Ms. Welp will perform as the featured soloist with the LaGrange Symphony in a regular season concert once full orchestra concerts resume.

Lucy Rubin

Lucy RubinThe Max Kaplan Award for second place and a $1,000 cash award was won by flutist Lucy Rubin, a junior at the University of Georgia who studies with Professor Angela Jones-Reus. Ms. Rubin is pursuing a Bachelor of Music with majors in Music Performance and Music Theory. She is the 2021 Young Artists Competition Instrumentalist Division for the Rome Symphony Orchestra as well as a finalist of the 2021 Samuel Fordis Concerto Competition. She has won or placed in multiple competitions in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Ms. Rubin was a 2021 intern at the Flute Center of New York and will study in Italy during the summer of 2022. Ms. Rubin performed Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, movement I by Carl Reinecke.


Cindy Liu

Cindy LiuWinner of the NOTE Award for third place and a $500 cash award was flutist Cindy Liu of Germantown, Tennessee, a junior at Houston High School who has studied with Ms. Myung E. Kim for seven years. Ms. Liu plays flute in the Germantown Youth Symphony and is a 2022 National YoungArts Award Winner. She represented Tennessee for the 2018 MTNA division audition with flute and was selected as a member of All West Tennessee Band for 7 years. She was the first-place winner of the 2018 Beethoven Club Young Artist Competition with flute and won first place in the 2018 TMTA (Tennessee Music Teachers Association) woodwind competition. Ms. Liu completed the 2021 Tennessee Governor’s School with Flute. Ms. Liu performed Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 8, by Otar Gordeli.


Judges of the 2022 Young Artists Competition were Maestro Richard Prior, award winning composer and conductor who is the Music Director and Conductor of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Mothersole, instructor of clarinet at The University of West Georgia, who holds a Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and a Masters of Performance from the Royal College of Music in London, and Amy Ensel Wright, band director and woodwind specialist at The Paideia School in Atlanta, who holds a Bachelor of Music from The Crane School of Music at the State University of New York and a Master in Music Performance from the University of Louisville. All entrants were judged on musicianship, technical ability, and poise.

Information specific to the 2022 competition:
Finalists will be expected to perform live for the competition judges on the morning of February 5, 2022. If it is deemed unsafe to hold a live performance on that date due to COVID, finalist will be given the choice to resubmit the same piece again or have original submission judged for final decision.

Contestant must be under the age of 26 on February 5, 2022 and must be a resident or resident student of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina or Tennessee.
Applications must be submitted electronically by email to:
Deadline: December 10, 2021 (for receipt of all materials)

More specifics can be found on the 2022 application HERE and on the official 2022 YAC poster HERE.

For young musical artists, this yearly competition organized by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, is traditionally held in early February at CALLAWAY AUDITORIUM.   Callaway Auditorium is located on the campus of LaGrange College, in LaGrange, Georgia.

The 2022 YAC event is for wind instruments, 2023 is for string instruments, and 2024 is for piano.

The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Dr. Barbara Kaplan, began the Young Artists Competition (YAC) 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, the competition now serves talented young musicians from six southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Each year the contestants perform before nationally and internationally recognized judges. The first place winner is invited to perform with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra later in the concert season.

Participants in the Young Artists Competition compete for three awards:

First Place: Dorothy Allen Turner Award – $1,500

This award honors the memory of Dorothy Allen Turner, longtime LaGrange resident, devoted supporter of music in the community, and widow of Dr. Render Turner. Dot’s daughter Isabelle Knight is a former member of the LSO and her granddaughter Callie Knight Hammond is the current assistant concert master of the LSO as well as the conductor of the youth string ensemble. Her son in law, Charles Knight, is a past President of the Symphony board. The Cash award of $1,500 includes the opportunity to perform as guest soloist with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. 1st place winner appears with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra in Callaway Auditorium.

Second Place: Max Kaplan Award – $1,000

The second place award honors the memory of Dr. Max Kaplan. Dr. Kaplan, a university professor, author and lecturer, was a sociologist, violinist and member of the LSO board from 1992 to 1998. A resident of Meriwether County, he was deeply involved in LaGrange’s cultural life. His wide experience with orchestras as concertmaster and conductor, and as co-organizer of the famed Boston Youth Symphony, made him invaluable to the LSO board.

Third Place: NOTE Award – $500

This award was named by the donor, Eunice Connally Carr. The NOTE acronym designates an award which meets a Need, provides an Opportunity for young people, recognizes Talent, and rewards significant Effort on the part of the young performer. Contestant must be under the age of 26 on the date of the competition and must be a resident or resident student of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina or Tennessee.

Previous Winners

Season 2020/2021
Angelina Ning

First Place 2021
Angelina Ning
American Heritage School, Boca Delray

Luke Turner

Second Place 2021
Luke Turner
Vanderbilt University

Arturo Fernandez

Third  Place 2021
Arturo Fernandez
Florida Gulf Coast University

Season 2019/2020
Melody Sim

First Place 2020
Melody Sim
Vanderbilt University

Hanna Hrybkova

Second Place 2020
Hanna Hrybkova
Columbus State University

Francis Tsai

Third  Place 2020
Francis Tsai
Hope Christian School

Season 2018/2019
First Place

First Place 2019
Connor Holland
Florida State University

Second Place

Second Place 2019
Adeline M. DeBella
Columbus State University

Third Place

Third  Place 2019
Kirk-Jearvin Gumarin Habana
Columbus State University

Season 2017/2018
2018 YAC Winner

First Place 2018
Yannie Tan
Atlanta International School

2018 2nd place YAC

Second Place 2018
Dina Kasman
Vestavia Hills High School

Third Place YAC Elisabeth Tsai

Third  Place 2018
Elisabeth Tsai
Columbus State University

Season 2016/2017
YAC 1st place Richard Cho

First Place 2017
Richard Cho
Alpharetta High School

YAC 2nd Place 2017

Second Place 2017
Weiru Sheng
Columbus State University

YAC third place 2017

Third  Place 2017
Olivia Palazzolo
University of Memphis