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Briggs Chamber Competition Winners Announced

Pictured (left to right): Russell Kerns, Connor Mikula, Nancy Briggs, Jonathan Hostottle, and Jeffrey Leung. Photo by Peter Smith

The winners of SMTD’s 2016 Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition have been announced.

Taking first place was a saxophone quartet comprising graduate students Russell Kerns and Connor Mikula, senior Jonathan Hostottle, and specialist Jeffrey Leung. They received a $4,000 cash award.

The second place winner was a clarinet quintet comprising graduate students Joey Valez, Daniel Martinec, Stephen Chow, Jakob Lenhardt, and Mathieu Giradet. Their cash prize was $2,000.

The third place winner was a string quartet comprising graduate students Nicole Yue Fan and Jecoliah Wang playing violin, senior Abigail Choi on viola, and senior Isabel Kwon on cello. They received a cash prize of $1,000.

The competition judges included Jonathan Gunn, principal clarinet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; David Bowlin, associate professor of violin, Oberlin Conservatory of Music; and James Howson, professor of instrumental accompanying, Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Sadly, this year’s competition took place just a week after the passing of Dale Briggs, whom the SMTD Alumni Society recently honored by awarding him the 2016 Hall of Fame award.

The Briggs Chamber Music Competition was created in an ongoing effort to encourage the excellence of chamber music performance at SMTD and to provide performance opportunities for various ensembles. It is named in honor of its benefactors and evolved from the Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Endowed Enrichment Fund, established in 2004 and endowed in 2006, to support program and/or scholarship needs in chamber music. The competition is open to ensembles comprising three to six players in any combination of instruments and/or voice.