Baylor Music Students Will Compete to Perform at Famed Carnegie Hall in New York City

  • Full-Size Image: carnegie
    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. (Photo courtesy of Carnegie Hall)
  • Full-Size Image: Semper Pro Musica Winners 2018
    Eighteen students, who won the 2018 Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Music Competition at Baylor's School of Music, performed May 24, 2018, 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).
Jan. 25, 2019

Media Contact: Terry Goodrich, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-3321
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by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (Jan. 25, 2019) – Baylor University students will compete in February for a chance to perform at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall in the fourth annual Semper Pro Musica Music Solo and Chamber Competition in the Baylor School of Music.

The Semper Pro Musica Competition is presented to inspire students within the School of Music toward musical excellence. This year, a record number of music students who applied will participate in the competition, including 67 soloists, 31 of which also are competing in the chamber competition. That competition will feature 89 chamber music performances.

A total of 125 students in the competition – a third of overall music major enrollment – will perform in the competition, marking the most dramatic increase in first-round student participation since the program’s start in 2016.

Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., dean of the Baylor School of Music and acting vice provost for administration, said the goal of the competition is not to find just a single winner as a soloist or as a chamber group, but to celebrate and honor the top 4 percent of talent within the School of Music.

“The 14 to 18 students who emerge through two challenging rounds of competition and are declared winners as chosen by an external panel of judges, are rewarded with an experience virtually no other college-age music students in the United States can experience,” Mortenson said. “When one earns the right to walk on stage and perform at Carnegie Hall, that experience stays with you for the rest of your life.”

From 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, the semifinal round of competition will be in Jones Concert Hall in Glennis McCrary Music Building, 110 Baylor Ave. A panel of professors from the Baylor School of Music will judge the first round. Four groups from the chamber competition will advance to the final round. For the solo portion, five vocal, three piano, three strings, two brass, one percussion and two woodwind musicians will advance. The event is free and open to the public.

From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, the piano preliminaries of the competition will be in Roxy Grove Hall, 624 Speight Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, the final round of the competition will be in Jones Concert Hall in Glennis McCrary Music Building. A panel of external judges will evaluate the competitors. Winners will earn an appearance at the Semper Pro Musica Recital at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City, and will receive a $500 merit scholarship. The competition is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the School of Music website.


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. 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, 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 include bachelor’s and master’s degrees in performance, music education and academic majors, as well as doctoral degrees in church music. Degrees leading to the Bachelor of Music Education conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Visit to learn more.

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