And the Winner is...

February 15, 2023
Gina Gravagne
Congratulations to Gina Gravagne, applied music, viola performance, for winning the 2023 Concert Competition. She is a student of Dr. Kathryn Steely, professor of viola.

Ms. Gravagne won this year's competition with her incredible performance of William Walton's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra.

"First, my congratulations to all of our Concerto Competition finalists. Each of them worked very hard to prepare for the competition and the judges heard some very fine performances," said Steely. "Our competition is somewhat unusual at the collegiate level because it requires the full concerto. Musicians preparing to perform a concerto with orchestra must develop the technical and musical skills to communicate the piece to listeners, and along with that, develop the concentration and stamina to perform at a very high level, memorized, often for close to 30 minutes or more. Working with Gina in preparing for this moment has truly been an honor and I congratulate her on one of her very finest performances yet. I am looking forward to the next stage as we prepare for her performance with the Baylor Symphony next year."

The judges also awarded an honorable mention to Blake Moreland, horn, student of Dr. Kristy Morrell, who performed Mozart's Horn Concerto in E-flat Major, K. 495.

The other student finalists were:

Cole Allex, saxophone; student of Dr. Michael Jacobson

Matthew Davis, euphonium; student of Dr. Kent Eshelman

Gracie Godsby, piano; student of Dr. Terry Lynn Hudson

Derek Marcum, bassoon; student of Dr. Ann Shoemaker

Colin Roberts, double bass; student of Dr. Sandor Ostlund

Joshua Yan, piano; student of Dr. Shijun Wang

Thank you to the judges for their time and support of our Concerto Competition:

David Itkin, professor of music and director of orchestral studies, University of North Texas; music director and conductor, Abilene Philharmonic
Kyle Koronka, acting principal trumpet, Austin Symphony Orchestra; part-time assistant professor of applied music, Southwestern University
Scott Plugge, director of the school of music and applied saxophone professor, Sam Houston State University
Ellen Rose, principal viola (retired), Dallas Symphony Orchestra; adjunct associate professor of viola, Southern Methodist University
Nancy Weems, Madison endowed professor and division head of piano, University of Houston

"It was a great day of music-making, and the soloists certainly represented our School well," said Dr. Kent Eshelman, professor of euphonium and tuba and Concerto Competition coordinator.

Baylor's Concerto Competition features two rounds. Each division has an independent preliminary round and may choose a maximum of two performers to advance to the finals. This year, eight students performed laudably in front of the distinguished panel of judges in the final round, held January 21 in Jones Concert Hall.
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