HHSO Youth Concerto Competition Director, Joseph Gimbel is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 HHSO Concerto Competition held on Saturday, February 2, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  The annual competition is for gifted musicians in grades 12 or below.  This year, 9 gifted young musicians competed in the final round. 

The winners are:  First Prize Winner ($1,000) Violinist Eric Tsai, Second Prize Winner ($500) Violinist Dustin Wilkes-Kim, and Third Prize Winner ($300) Bassoonist Madeline Miller.  All other finalists received a $100 stipend.

The judges were Jane Sine, Head Judge and Classical Music Instructor, Terry Moore, Concertmaster of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and Russell Floyd, Minister of Music at the First Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head. 

 Fifteen-year old Eric Tsai began his violin studies at age 4 and has enjoyed a steady schedule of public performance since age 7; he has appeared as soloist with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra.  Eric has been a winner in the Eunice Hoffmeister Competition, Alabama chapter of American String Teacher’s Association, Alabama Music Teachers Association solo and concerto competitions, and the Lois Pickard Scholarship competition. Eric was a finalist in the 2012 Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and semi-finalist in the 2011 Cooper International Violin Competition. He has appeared on NPR’s From The Top, a nationally syndicated radio broadcast featuring America’s talented young musicians.    

 Dustin Wilkes-Kim, 16, has raised over $8100 giving benefit concerts for worthy causes. He is a junior at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studies with Sarah Johnson. (Artist Faculty of UNCSA and Associate Professor of Violin at Converse College) Dustin made his solo debut with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and has since soloed with the Salisbury, North Carolina and Danville, Virginia, Symphony Orchestras and the Ottawa Chamber Symphony in Kansas. In June 2012 Dustin placed 1st in the Junior Division of the Bryan Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the North Carolina Symphony. Dustin is a multiple winner of the NCMTNA competition; was a finalist in the MTNA National Competition in 2011; won both the Senior and Junior Divisions of the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Talent Search; and 2nd in the 2011 Hilton Head Symphony Concerto Competition.

 From an early age, Madeline Miller showed her love of music, requesting to play violin at the age of three and listening endlessly to a Peter and the Wolf tape. At the age of seven, her parents decided that her fascination with music was not just a passing fancy and enrolled her in private violin instruction. At age eight, she picked up her mother’s old clarinet and began to learn it. At age ten, she added saxophone to her list of instruments, and finally, at age eleven, after a growth spurt that included the growth of her hands, she was able to add the instrument that had captured most of her attention when listening to Peter and the Wolf…the bassoon. Her love of all things bassoon has been unstoppable ever since. A member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2011, she attended Interlochen Arts Camp and landed a coveted chair in the acclaimed World Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jung-Ho Pak. A believer in sharing music with others, Madeline has organized and founded the Sunrise Student Musician Organization, a group of student musicians dedicated to bringing quality music to a large assisted living and nursing care facility in northern Atlanta.