El Paso, Texas–The El Paso Society for Musicians of the Future (EPSMF) announces the finalists for the 2019 Competition for Young Musicians. Six finalists will compete in a recital on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Star City Studio. This competition calls to exceptionally talented students between the ages of 8 and 19 to compete for cash awards with classical music repertoire. The competition has grown to cross borders with local, national, and international applications.
The top award is $1800 and the opportunity to perform in EPSMF’s annual summer concerts followed by second and third place awards of $700 and $500. All of the seven finalists in this competition will be publicly recognized for their achievements.
John Esparza - piano
John is 16 and a junior at Eastwood High School. He studies piano with Dr. Esequiel Meza. He has participated in several recitals with the El Paso Conservatory of Music and has been featured at the Music Teachers Association Student Affiliate recitals at the Chamizal National Memorial Auditorium. He has been recognized for his performances in the EPMTA Sonata and Solo Festivals. John has also been an active participant in the Texas All Region Orchestra and is a regular participant in the UIL Solo and Ensemble competition as a violinist. He has earned membership in the National Junior Honor Society. John states, “I have been taught that I achieve anything as long as I dedicate time and effort into it.”
Ryan Esparza - piano
Ryan is 16 and a junior at Eastwood High School. He studies piano with Dr. Esequiel Meza. He has participated in several recitals with the El Paso Conservatory of Music and has been featured at the Music Teachers Association Student Affiliate recitals at the Chamizal National Memorial Auditorium. He has been recognized for his performances in the EPMTA Sonata and Solo Festivals. Ryan has also been an active participant in the Texas All Region Orchestra and is a regular participant in the UIL Solo and Ensemble competition as a violinist. He has earned membership in the National Junior Honor Society. Ryan says, “music has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.”
Kathryn Haluschak- piano
Kathryn 13 and an eighth grader at Loretto Academy Middle School. She studies piano with Anna Habicht. She plays in a youth ensemble and as has participated in semi-finals of the Texas Music Teachers Association summer convention. She likes the music of Josef Hayden because “his music has humor and is fun to play.”
Samuel Kligman- piano
Samuel is 15 and is a freshman at Coronado High School. He is an IB student and has been studying piano for ten years and currently studies with Guillermo de la Garza. Samuel sings with the Coronado Varsity Choir and with the Gentlemen Choir at Coronado. At a very young age, Samuel “felt a connection to musical sounds.”
Taekyu Lee- piano
Taekyu is 16 and a sophomore at Coronado High School. He studies piano with Anna Habicht. He participates regularly on EPMTA competitions and festivals at the Chamizal National Memorial Auditorium. In 2016, he won second place in EPSYO’s Young Artist Piano Competition. Taekyu also plays to cello. He enjoys Rachmaninoff stating that he enjoys “his composing style; it is very powerful in its expression and very passionate.”
Samuel Maddox- piano
Samuel is 15 and a home-schooled sophomore. He studies piano with Dr. Esequiel Meza. Samuel is active in community outreach performances. He has been featured in the Texas Music Teachers Association Student Affiliate recitals and has participated in Solo festivals and Baroque competitions sponsored by the Music Teachers Association. He was the2017 winner of the EPSMF Competition for Young Musicians and, in 2019, was a finalist in the Claudette Sorrel International Piano Competition in New York. He is currently a regular performer with the Bruce Nehring Consort. Samuel is attracted to Beethoven’s pieces because “they are well structured…but they feel like they are taking me on an exciting adventure to a grand destination.”
The 2019 INSTRUMENTS FOR YOUNG LIVES AWARDS RECIPIENTS will be introduced at this competition. Recipients will be awarded at the 2019 Honoree and Awards dinner on April 11, 2019.
This year’s instrument recipients are:
Angel Rangel - trumpet
Angel is 16 and a junior at Riverside High School. He plays in the Riverside High School Band, Concert band, Jazz Band, and Mariachi. He also participates in the El Paso Youth Jazz Ensemble. He has made it to the All Region Concert Band, All Region Jazz Jazz Band, and All Region Symphony Orchestra. He qualified in the TMEA Area Jazz Competition and Texas All-State Solo and Ensemble. He was the Riverside High School Outstanding Soloist Marching/Jazz in 2016.2-17, and 2018. Angel became involved in music after joining the Riverside Middle School Band. He says, “I immediately fell in love with music and knew it was what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life.”
Diego Nevarez - Alto Saxophone
Diego is 16 and a junior at Mountain View High School. He has played in the Mountain View High School Band, Concert Band, and Solo and Ensemble. He has participated in Teacher Music Educators Association and the Association of Texas Small State Bands programs. He has been recognized as an Outstanding Musician and is an Honor Roll student. One of Diego’s goals is to “inspire and motivate other people in my community to have a greater appreciation for music…in this beautiful art.”
Bryan Arriaga - Bb Clarinet
Bryan is 17 and a junior at Horizon High School. He is currently on the Horizon High School Band and Wind Ensemble Varsity. He has participated in All-Regions Bands for the past five years. He was the recipient of the MVP Award for the Varsity Band and placed first in the 2019 Science Fair. He has also received awards for advancing to State Solo and Ensemble. He is a member of the Spanish Honor Society. Bryan states. “ although everyone has their different feelings and perspectives on music, I truly believe that music is a universal language that connects each and every one of us.”
Applications for the 2020 Competition for Young Musicians and Instruments for Young Lives Program will be available in September 2019.
For more information regarding the 2019 Competition for Young Musicians Finalist Recital, please visit the official event page here.