Baylor Music Competition Winners to Perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City

  • Semper Pro Musica winners
    Eighteen students, who won the third annual Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Music Competition at Baylor's School of Music, will perform May 24 in historic Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Front row (seated): Bryce Turner (percussion), Maria Dell'Orefice (piano), Ben Quarles (clarinet), Emily Monk (cello), Joey Tkach (trumpet) and Julie Powers (mezzo soprano). Back row (standing): David Medina (percussion), Caleb Evans (percussion), Ian Houston (percussion), Talia Dugan (clarinet), Zerek Dodson (piano), Helena Bandy (violin), Rebekah Lambert (piano), Stephen Spink (trumpet), Nathan Little (trumpet), Clare Hogan (trumpet), Sally Tepper (trumpet) and Amy Barto (trumpet).
  • Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
    The elegant and intimate Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall has been one of New York City's beloved venues since its opening in 1891. (Courtesy of Carnegie Hall)
  • St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
    The student winner of the Semper Pro Musica Organ Competition at Baylor's School of Music will perform a recital May 23 at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City. (Courtesy of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church)
Feb. 14, 2018

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
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WACO, Texas (Feb. 14, 2018) – Eighteen students from Baylor University School of Music will travel to New York City in May and perform in the historic Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall after winning the third annual Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Music Competition Feb. 11 in Roxy Grove Hall.

The competition was the last step in a two-round process that began late in the fall 2017 semester and involved around 125 students, almost a quarter of the School of Music’s student population.

The six winners of the solo competition were: Maria Dell’Orefice (piano), Emily Monk (cello), Julia Powers (mezzo-soprano), Joey Tkach (trumpet), Ben Quarles (clarinet) and Bryce Turner (percussion).

The four chamber groups selected as winners were: Baylor Gold Trumpet Ensemble (Abby Barto, Clare Hogan, Nathan Little, Stephen Spink, Sally Tepper and Joey Tkach); Camerata Paula (Zerek Dodson, Talia Dugan and Ben Quarles); BLT Trio (Helena Bandy, Rebekah Lambert and Sally Tepper); and 3:1 Percussion (Caleb Evans, Ian Houston, David Medina and Bryce Turner).

The students will travel to New York City May 23-26 and perform in Weill Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24. Tickets for this concert are available through the Carnegie Hall Box Office or through the Baylor University School of Music by contacting Jillian Gusukuma at

The competition was judged by an external panel of judges, including Annie Burridge (Austin Opera), Thomas Burritt (Percussion, University of Texas), Tali Morgulis (Piano, University of Houston), Brendan Townsend (Music Director, Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra) and Charles Villarrubia (Tuba/Euphonium, University of Texas). They announced the student winners during a brief ceremony that concluded a day of high-level music making from each competitor.

In addition, the student winner of the Semper Pro Musica Organ Competition will be selected Tuesday, March 13, in Jones Concert Hall on the Baylor campus. That soloist also will perform a recital in New York City at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.

In September 2015, during his first semester as dean, Gary C. Mortenson, D.M.A., developed the conceptual framework for Semper Pro Musica.

“The goal of the competition is to identify the top talent in the school through two rounds of rigorous competition and to present a winners’ recital at a significant external venue to the school,” Mortenson said.

Baylor University will host the recitals on successive nights in two of the nation’s premiere venues. A reception to honor the student winners will follow the recital in Carnegie Hall.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Our students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, the students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. Baylor’s School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs leading to the bachelor of music education degree conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

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