Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra Presents
The Soloist: New England Concerto Competition
The Soloist was designed to break the classical competition mold. There were only a few rules. Musicians had to be amateurs, at least 10 years old and live or study in New England. After that, talent trumps all.
The search took almost a year. More than 60 hopefuls, between the ages of 10 and 64, entered from across New England. The caliber of talent was extraordinary, and deciding who would move on was difficult. But, we had to narrow the field and select our Semi-Finalists.
The Semi Finals
Our Semi-Finalists (shown left to right) were: Ruth Hart, Vocals; Andrew Hayhurst, Cello; Taylin Im, Piano; Tae Kim, Piano; Desiree Maira, Soprano; Luke Scott, Baritone; Yundu Wang, Piano and Monika Woods, Clarinet. Just before the Semi-Finals in February, a snow storm buried the region; we rescheduled the competition to Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 1:30pm. One of our semi-finalists, Desiree Maira, could not make the rescheduled date, which brought our field to seven contestants.
In March, the musicians performed in front of a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience of 800 music-lovers. While our four judges (Joan Landry, Royston Nash, Stephanie Weaver and Cheryl Willoughby) thoughtfully deliberated, the audience members cast their votes for their favorite performers as well. The competition then rocketed into cyberspace. Soloist fans from around the corner and places as far away as Belgium, Brazil, Thailand and South Korea viewed online videos of the musicians’ performances and cast their votes, too.
And then there were three. Our Finalists Luke Scott (baritone), Taylin Im, piano and Monika Woods (clarinet) were the featured guest artists at our Virtuosos concert, May 4 and 5, 2013. They performed with great skill and great passion to thunderous applause.
Then, in true American Idol style, the audience members cast their votes and Monika Woods became the first winner of The Soloist: New England Concerto Competition.
Taylin Im earned second prize; Luke Scott earned third. However, they were all winners. They not only had the incredible opportunity of performing with the orchestra and entertaining thousands; they also won substantial cash prizes: $3,500, $2,000 and $1,000.
We wish them all the best in their musical endeavors. They have certainly set the bar high for the next competition.