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Congratulations to our Young Artist Competition winners!

Sep 29, 2020, 23:06 PM by National Flute Association

We are pleased to announce the final results of the 2020 Young Artist Competition. Congratulations to everyone involved! 

First Place
$6,000 Prize
Career Enhancement Grant (up to $3,000), Sponsored by Mary and Bill Sand 
Yi Xiang was awarded first prize in the 2020 Seattle Flute Society Young Artist Competition. In the 2020 Myrna W. Brown Competition, she won both first prize and the award for Best Performance of the Newly Commissioned Work. In October 2019, she won first place in the Rochester Flute Association Emerging Artist Competition and she was invited to join the fellowship program at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. In October 2018, as winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, she performed with orchestra in Kodak Hall. The Pareidolia Trio, which she co-founded in 2015, won the Fuchs Chamber Music Competition of that year. 
BM, Manhattan School of Music (Linda Chesis); MM, Rice University Shepherd School of Music (Leone Buyse); DMA (in progress), Eastman School of Music (Bonita Boyd) 

Special Recognition - Yi Xiang was also awarded "Best Performance of the NFA Commissioned Work" from the semifinal round. 

Second Place
$3,000 Prize
Blair Francis Paponiu is assistant principal/second flutist of the Naples Philharmonic. She performed as a substitute with the New York Philharmonic from April 2016 through the 2017-18 season. She has been second flutist in the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Augusta (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra. She was a prizewinning finalist in the Young Artist Competitions of the Florida Flute Association and the South Carolina Flute Society and a winner of the NFA Masterclass Performers Competition.
BM, University of South Carolina; MM, University of Texas at Austin; Professional Studies Certificate, Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers include Robert Langevin, Marianne Gedigian, Jennifer Parker-Harley, and Cynthia Hopkins.

Third Place
$1,500 Prize
Arin Sarkissian has performed with Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA), the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Most recently, he was awarded first prize in the Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp, and Guitar Division of the 2020 Young Texas Artists Music Competition and first prize in the 2019 Mika Hasler Competition. He was also invited as a 2020 Flute Fellow to the Music Academy of the West summer festival.
BM (flute performance) in progress, Rice University Shepherd School of Music (Leone Buyse). His previous mentors include Christina Yoo and Lilit Hovhannisyan. 

Special thanks to competition coordinator Daniel Velasco and the competition judges:
Recorded Round:
Krista Jobson
Carmen Lemoine
Hanna Porter-Occe├▒a
Valerie Watts
Colleen White
Quarterfinal Round:
Diane Boyd-Schultz
Brian Dunbar
Leonard Garrison
Sonia Giles
Valerie Potter
Semifinal and Final Rounds:
Julia Bogorad-Kogan
Elizabeth Buck
Stephanie Jutt
Eric Lamb
Amy Taylor