The Graceland University Music Department held its annual solo competition Feb. 7. This competition is open to all current music students and invites them to prepare a performance for adjudication and comments by outside adjudicators with diverse backgrounds in music.
This year’s adjudicators included A. J. Beu, principle tubist with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra and director of instrumental music at Coffeyville Community College; Dan Jacobsen, a graduate of Simpson College and opera singer with the Des Moines Metro Opera; and Dustin Williams, former adjunct professor of trumpet at Graceland University and Truman State University.
With 12 entries, the field this year was extremely competitive. Contestants competed in solo voice, piano, percussion, strings and winds. Some students performed unaccompanied and some with recorded electronic music, while the majority relied on the piano accompaniment skills Associate Professor of Music in Keyboard Studies and Director of Orchestral Activities Jack Ergo.
In addition to the competition for all music students, music majors were eligible to compete separately for one of three Anthony Hyde awards. The Anthony Hyde award was initiated by Graceland music alumni in 1982 to promote musical excellence. The endowment is named for two beloved music professors from Graceland: Joseph Anthony, longtime choral director from 1917-42, and Mabel Carlile Hyde, longtime instrumental director from 1921-45 and 1955-61.
2021 Graceland University Solo Competition Winners:
1st Prize – Emily Scobee ’21; Eagleville, Missouri; music performance
2nd Prize – William Bayse ’21; Polk City, Iowa; music education
3rd Prize – Benjamin Long ’23; Mount Juliet, Tennessee; music performance and economics
4th Prize – Laura Harder ’24; St. Louis, Missouri; music education
Anthony Hyde Award Recipients:
1st Prize ($1,500 scholarship) – Emily Scobee
2nd Prize ($1,000 scholarship) – Benjamin Long
3rd Prize ($500 scholarship) – Laura Harder
Note: William Bayse was not eligible for Anthony Hyde this year due to having placed in 2020.
The winners of the competition will be invited to perform with the music department faculty for a special recital at 7:30 p.m. March 12 in Carol Hall. More information, including ticketing information and relevant COVID-19 procedures, will be published at a later date.
Other students who competed this year include: Jared Wood from Gower, Missouri; Dora Martz from Grant City, Missouri; Clayton Allen from Leon, Iowa; Conner Holben from Minden, Iowa; Beth Presler from Independence, Missouri; Daryn Nowlin from Lamoni, Iowa; and Naomi Long from Jefferson, Iowa.
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