Sixteen UGA students honored at Georgia Music Teachers Association auditions

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Sixteen UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music students were recognized at this year’s Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) auditions.

Held on April 9 and 16, the event allowed students of various ages and musical disciplines—College Piano, Voice, Instrumental Concerto, Strings, Woodwinds/Brass—to compete for the rating of “OP,” or Outstanding Performer, and the chance to take part in a “winner’s recital” at the state GMTA conference next fall.

“These are a yearly chance for college performers to prepare three solo pieces of their choosing and perform them for a panel of judges,” said Dr. Jean Martin-Williams, professor of horn at the School of Music.

Martin-Williams had 10 students recognized in the lower-college (first and second year students) and upper-college (graduate students) categories of the Brass/Woodwind division. Four of those received a rating of “OP,” and two of those were designated Conference Recitalists. Martin-Williams described it as a “wonderful opportunity for my students.”

“For my first year undergraduates, this was the first time they had to prepare multiple works for a performance, hire an accompanist and perform for a judge they had never met,” said Martin-Williams. “All my students came through like champs, and I am so happy I get to work with them.”

The School of Music performed well in other areas also, with students receiving “OP” ratings in piano and voice, under the tutelage of Dr. Liza Stepanova, assistant professor of piano, Dr. Martha Thomas, Despy Karlas Professor in Piano, Dr. Evgeny Rivkin, professor of piano, and Dr. Stephanie Tingler, associate professor of voice.

Additionally, eight pre-college students taught by School of Music faculty were recognized in their grade categories for brass/woodwinds, piano, voice and strings. The students were taught by several of the respective aforementioned teachers and Kristin Jutras, director of the UGA Community Music School and a string instructor.

“Some of the pre-college participants will have a chance to play in a master class during the conference, and others receive award recognition of hard work,” said Stepanova. “This kind of encouragement is so helpful for the development of the students.”

Stepanova, who also served as a judge in the pre-college division of the piano auditions, noted the GMTA’s dedication to providing the students opportunities and encouragement—something that was apparent to her, even as something of an outsider.

“This is my first year in Georgia, and I am so impressed and heartened by the vibrant community of music teachers in the state doing amazing work with their students and offering their time and energy for the wonderful activities of GMTA.”

A full list of School of Music students who were honored at the auditions can be found below.

[MUSICAL DIVISION: YEAR CATEGORY (LOWER, 1-2; MIDDLE, 3-4; UPPER: GRADUATE)]
[Student Name – Instructor – Rating]

PIANO: LOWER COLLEGE
Alexandre Tchaykov – Dr. Liza Stepanova – OP, Conference Recitalist 
Imsun Lee – Dr. Evgeny Rivkin – OP, 1st Alternate 

PIANO: UPPER COLLEGE 
Yoonsook Song – Dr. Martha Thomas, NCTM – OP, Conference Recitalist 
Yan Kou – Dr. Martha Thomas, NCTM – Award of Excellence 

VOICE: LOWER COLLEGE 
Deborah Stephens – Dr. Stephanie Tingler – OP, Conference Recitalist 

VOICE: MIDDLE COLLEGE 
Maia Brookes – Dr. Stephanie Tingler – OP, Conference Recitalist 

WOODWINDS/BRASS: LOWER COLLEGE 
Addison Whitney – Jean Martin-Williams – OP, Conference Recitalist 
Nicole Perez – Jean Martin-Williams – OP, 1st Alternate 
Sarah Mendes – Jean Martin-Williams – OP, 2nd Alternate 
Lizzie Digiovanni – Jean Martin-Williams – Award of Excellence 
Jaron Lehman – Jean Martin-Williams – Award of Excellence 
Edgar W. Carter – Jean Martin-Williams – Award of Excellence 
Aakash Patel – Jean Martin-Williams – Honorable Mention 
Murphy Pulliam – Jean Martin-Williams – Honorable Mention 
Rebecca M. Dorrill – Jean Martin-Williams – Honorable Mention 

WOODWINDS/BRASS: UPPER COLLEGE 
Christopher Miertschin – Jean Martin-Williams – OP, Conference Recitalist