Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) held its 34th Instrumental Competition on February 15 at Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s Barrett Hall. Nine finalists, ages 18 – 23, demonstrated their musical talents in competing for monetary prizes totaling $24,500. The prize monies are provided from the proceeds of the PSHA’s annual benefit, the Pasadena Showcase House of Design. “We are so thrilled that we can help these talented young musicians continue with their musical education,“ said PSHA President, Vikki Sung. “It’s really a source of pride for us since many of them go on to have distinguished careers.”
PSHA member Susan Bermingham served as this year’s Chair for the event. “I was truly amazed by the talented musicians who took the stage to perform in the finals,” she said. “It is so gratifying to be in a position to reward and encourage them and to know that we are contributing to their future musical careers.”
Elena Mateo Sáez, a bassoonist was awarded the Grand Prize for “exceptional talent and musicianship.” Sáez, a 19-year-old student at the Colburn Conservatory is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree. She began playing the bassoon at the age of six because she says she “just liked the sound of it.” She has performed with several orchestras and has been a guest bassoonist with the Spanish National Orchestra.
Sooyoung Kim, a 23-year-old student at USC, was the first prize winner in the woodwinds category. Although she played the oboe for this competition, Ms. Kim also plays the violin, French-horn, flute and piano. She performs as a Principal with the Thornton Symphony Orchestra and was awarded 3rd prize in the 35th Music Association of Korea Competition.
Angel Martin Mora and Chi Ting tied for the second prize in the woodwinds category. Mr. Mora, a 20-year-old clarinetist from Spain, is currently a student at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He is a member of the Spanish Youth Orchestra. Ms. Ting, a flutist, is also pursuing a Bachelor of Music at Colburn Conservatory of Music. The 21-year-old was a 2nd round contestant in the Cluj International Music Competition for flute in 2019.
Zachary Brandon was awarded second prize in the strings category for his performance on the violin. The 21-year-old is pursuing a Bachelor of Music at the Colburn Conservatory of Music and is an avid chamber musician. He received 4th Place Laureate in the International Stradivarius Competition.
Riley McGinn, a 19-year-old bass trombone player, took second prize in the brass category. He is a student at UCLA pursuing a Bachelor degree in Music Performance. He has performed with the American Youth Symphony and won the George Roberts Bass Trombone Competition in 2019.
Vivian Kung was also a second prize winner in the brass category for her performance on the tuba. The 21-year-old student is a Bachelor student double majoring in Tuba and Music Education at UCLA and is a Principal tuba with UCLA Philharmonia.
Martin Mangrum, a 23-year-old student in the Bachelor Program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, received an Honorable Mention for his performance on the horn. He has performed as Acting Principal Horn with the Canadian Opera Company in 2019.
The youngest of the finalists, 18-year-old Khoi Dinh, received the Jack Smith Memorial Award for “most promising talent.“ The flutist is studying for a Bachelor of Music in flute performance at UCLA. He currently performs with the UCLA Philharmonia & Wind Ensemble.
PSHA has awarded nearly $600,000 in prizes to promising music students since the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition began in 1985. To date PSHA has donated over $23 million to music programs and to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including a $1 million donation to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
PSHA’s other musical programs include the Music Mobile™ for third graders and the Youth Concert for fourth graders. In addition, PSHA also awards gifts and grants to a diverse list of local and regional non-profit organizations in support of their efforts in the community. PSHA underwrites concerts to ensure that the joy of live music is available to a broad range of audiences. Its support of non-profit organizations enriches the community and provides opportunities for a variety of groups, from students to seniors to learn, enjoy, and grow from their experiences in these programs. Additionally, PSHA has a longstanding history of supporting the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its community outreach programs.
PSHA’s only fundraiser, the 2020 Pasadena Showcase House of Design, will be open from April 26th through May 17th. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pasadenashowcase.org or call (714) 442-3872.